Kim Clijsters on return from retirement: 'It will be my marathon'

Kim Clijsters on return from retirement: 'It will be my marathon'
Kim Clijsters waiting to receive a serve during Wimbledon in 2006. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Belgium's Kim Clijsters, 36, has announced that she will return to the Women's Tennis Association tour in 2020.

"It will be my marathon," said Clijsters. "I do not feel like I want to prove anything, but for me, it's the challenge," Clijsters added.

"As far as I'm concerned, I still like to play tennis... the love of sport is always there, but the real question is obviously whether I can produce the level I would like to achieve and which I would like to play before replaying at the level of the best players in the world," Clijsters added.

"For years, when I play sometimes, I thought about it, but [thought] like, 'no, it's impossible'. My life now is at home, I have three children and the youngest one needs me most. It's no longer part of my life. "

But Clijsters' youngest, Blake (2), has started to go to nursery, and after Clijsters made a trip to Australia for the Australian Open in January the idea of returning started to become a possibility. 

"These last few months have been tough, but I felt I was regaining more energy in the last six months than in the last two years, simply because I'm paying attention to myself," said Clijsters. 

To be able to combine tennis with her family life, Clijsters does not envisage a heavy program on the circuit and will be flexible with her schedule so that she can return home if the need arises.

"My mind must be totally clear if I leave the house to train and I must know that everything is organised for the children, that the dinner will be ready for the days that follow and that everything is planned."

The idea is to return in January, but Clijsters remains cautious. "We can talk about the beginning of 2020 and see where I can get a wild card, but if I feel that in December I'm not where I want to be then I'm not going to go.... I still have three and a half months and I think that I can still progress a lot over the next few months. I can not wait to see where it will lead me, "concluded the Belgian.

Evie McCullough

The Brussels Times

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