Sunday, 19 July 2020
Kim Clijsters on Saturday won her fifth singles match in a row at the World Team Tennis exhibition tournament in White Sulphur Springs, in the U.S. state of Virginia.
Playing for the New York Empire team, the Belgian star powered home to a 5-1 victory over Bielorussia’s Olga Govortsova, ranked 135th by the World Tennis Association (WTA).
On Tuesday, she won her first match since her return to competitive tennis, defeating Sofia Kenin (WTA 4), before going on to beat Bernarda Pera (WTA 60) on Wednesday, Danielle Collins (WTA 51) on Thursday and Sloane Stephens (WTA 37) on Friday.
On Saturday, Clijsters teamed up with Neal Skupski of the United Kingdom in the mixed doubles, losing to Sweden’s Robert Lindstedt and American Caty McNally by 4-5.
Overall, Clijsters’ New York Empire team beat the Springfield Lasers by 21-15. The former world number one and her teammates lost their first match, against the Washington Castles, by 20-21, before going on to beat the Philadelphia Freedoms (25-17) and Orlando Storm (24-16). However, they went down to the Chicago Smash (21-22) in their fourth march.
New York Empire’s next match will be against the Orange County Breakers on Monday.
A total of eight teams are playing in the tournament, which ends on 2 August.
Clijsters, who is 37, returned to competitive tennis early this year after a seven-year absence.
She took a first break from May 2007 to August 2009 following the birth of her first baby, Jada, then played until September 2012, when she retired once again.
Kim Clijsters has 41 titles, including four Grand Slams (U.S. Open, 2005, 2009 and 2010; Australian Open, 2011). She was also World No. 1 for 20 weeks at four different times between 11 August 2003 and 20 February 2011.
This is her third appearance in World Team Tennis, which is now into its 45th edition. In 2009, she played with the Saint Louis Aces and, one year later, with the New York Sport Times.
Clijsters lost her first two official matches this year before the break caused by the novel Coronavirus. On 17 February, she crashed out of the Dubai Open in the first round, losing to Spain’s Garbine Muguruza (WTA 15).
The same thing happened in Monterrey on 4 March, when she bowed to Britain’s Johanna Konta (WTA 16), once again in the first round.
The Brussels Times