Players Give Thoughts On Kim Clijsters’ Retirement From Tennis
by Tom Gainey | August 30th, 2012, 12:13 am

Kim Clijsters played her final singles match today at the US Open. Site of three of her four career Grand Slams, Clijsters fell in two tight tiebreakers to British teen Laura Robson.

The 29-year-old mother and former No. 1 said all year this would be her last event, and she meant it. Clijsters is still entered in doubles and mixed but her time on the singles court is cover.

“I think in the first hour after the match there was still disappointment and a little bit of frustration,” said Clijsters. “But after talking and thinking about the retirement, I’m happy.”

Her love of the game and her genuine warmth she shared with her fellow players and fans touched many. Here’s a sample from what the players said today obout the beloved Belgian:

Petra Kvitova: “Well, when I start on the tour she didn’t play. And then when I was like around 60 spot on the world she came and she had a great result. I had great respect to her. Still I have great respect. She’s a great model. She is a very nice girl. Yeah, I like her very much. She’s always say, hi, how are you, and well done, things like this. Actually in Miami when I played her I lost like 6‑2, 6‑1, very easy, and she said that it’s good way how I’m playing. She believed that I can improve a lot. That was very nice from her.”

Victoria Azarenka: “I never played her here at the Open, but we had great matches. Definitely the one we had in Australia this year was absolutely amazing. As I said before, Kim is, you know, a great role model for all of us. She has a great personality. I was actually just chatting with her about shopping in the locker room before we came out. I mean, she’s just great for our sport. For sure we’ll miss her.”

Maria Sharapova: “She was a tremendous athlete, a really good competitor. The nicest thing you saw about her was her commitment to the sport but also wanting to have a great family life, retiring from the sport to have that and then coming back and achieving things in winning the US Opens that she did and the Australian Open.”

Samantha Stosur: “She’s been a great player and a great person. She’s definitely one of those people that you can look up to and really admire with what she’s been able to achieve.”

Laura Robson: “I just want to thank Kim for being such a good role model for me for so many years,” Robson told ESPN’s Pam Shriver in her on-court interview straight after the match. “It was an absolute pleasure to play against you.”


Julia Goerges: “Its so sad to see kim leaving the tour…she is just an amazing person,great rolemodel.we will all miss her!all the best for her life after tennis life”

Vania King: “@Clijsterskim Kim, you are an inspiration to us all, thanks for staying in the sport for so long!”

Lisa Raymond: “One of our sports greatest ambassadors @Clijsterskim … its been a privilege and you will be missed!”

Andy Roddick: “Tennis loves you @clijsterskim ! It’s been a pleasure to know and watch you…. Wish you all the happiness in the world!”

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30 Comments for Players Give Thoughts On Kim Clijsters’ Retirement From Tennis

skeezer Says:

For Kim,

Thanks for the memories and a great reason to watch womens tennis.

Is it ok to say you are sweet and…….hot? ;)

Wish u all the best with u and the fam after Tennis. Well wishes to the next chapter of your life, and you left with class!

Neil Alan Says:

Besides being a wonderful person and a great role model, Kim was also one of the most competitive players on the WTA tour. She will be remembered for her fighting spirit and willingness to put it all out on the tennis court, even if meant going into a split to get to the next ball

Dave Says:

skeezer, take your eyes off Kim! Yes, she made the Tennis World a little better. And I watched her match.

alison Says:

For me she made womens tennis more interesting,Kim and Henin made things more competitive two of the classiest players to play the game in this era IMO,prefered Kim though much more humble and down to earth without the ego,Kim will be very much missed,she was one of the games greats,i wish her good luck in the next chapter of her life.

Sienna Says:

Henin was much better. she dominated garros.
Sorry that she stopped on peak. Womentennis was a bit out off sink because of that. It still hasnot returned to normal level I feel.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Henin was a much better player (or at least much stronger mentally). Kim was a much classier person. They hated each other- Kim accused Henin of roiding. That rumour, of a forced retirement due to a positive test, possibly explains quitting at the top, out of nowhere.
Kim’s return to win the USO was one of the great stories of tennis the last few years.

RZ Says:

I’ll miss Kim Clijsters. She showed that you can win AND lose with grace. Sadly, you don’t often hear the words “role model” associated with tennis players but many are referring to Kim as a role model, and I agree. She showed you can be a fierce competitor and still be kind, friendly, and down-to-earth.

I’ll also miss watching her game. She had tremendous variety (it’s not just about hitting the ball hard), and I remember key matches she played against Li Na and Venus Williams where she switched up strategies and went on to win. Tremendous stuf

jane Says:

I love how well she moved; who else did the splits like that!? And her smile was always lovely to see. She’ll be missed on the court. I hope she enjoys her future endeavours and spending time with her family.

huh Says:

kim was a very talented player, nice woman and is a sweet mother, what more can one ask for! she’ll be missed for her goodness as a person and variety as a player.

huh Says:

henin was classless, no comparison between her and kim w.r.t. class. though henin was a better player and mentally much stronger.

huh Says:

btw how can henin be way better than kim when all she did is to dominate garros only! clay slams don’t count! clay tennis is not real tennis at all! that’s why henin’s also not real player. just look at rafa for example, LOL! ;)

huh Says:

oh laura robson… my darling, congrats!!! mwah!!! ;)

laura’s so beautiful, she must win slams! i’d be one of the first to buy tickets if she comes to asia!

i coulda hugged and kissed laura on her victory against the great kim if i were allowed to! ;)

Sienna Says:

thank you for proving my point about Rafa.
Henin or clijsters are both not all time great material.
But they were at the top of womans tennis for a few years.
I think in the case of Rafa that is about his level.

Rafa was at the top of mens tennis for a few years but he is not all time great material.

You put the words in my mouth.

Kimberly Says:

skeezer, with all the WTA eye candy, Sharapova, Azarenka, Wozniaki, Cirstea, Kirilenko you think Kim is hot? She is a very nice person, amazing mover, can match Williams with power, amazing spliits but when she was dating Hewitt way back when, Kaiser was like can’t he do a little better?

Sienna Says:

Huh Henin was my favorite. I always pick the real tennis player before some louzy double handling backhand.

Henin had the best backhand in womens tennis I personally seen. And it is beautiful. I loved the way she ripped it with that tiny posture of her.

Thangs Says:

Kim was my second favourite after Henin..Will miss you Kim..

dari Says:

Kim really has it all: talent speed power, flexibility and not to mention she was the most gracious, positive and down to earth top women’s player I can remember. She balanced out some of the poor attitudes.
Anyway, will miss kim, such a good athlete, great girl!

Kimberly Says:

Never liked Henin, the Hand incident and how she retired against Maresmo were a big turnoff

The Hand, excuse video quality

steve-o Says:

Although I acknowledge her importance to women’s tennis, I was never a fan of Clijsters. Always found her bland and generic. That goes for both her personality and her game. Though I have no particular dislike for her either.

Yes, she was genuinely nice and bubbly and chipper. But there wasn’t anything more going on upstairs than that.

The affection a lot of people have for her in some ways resembles the affection lavished on a puppy dog or a pony: something warm and cuddly, uncomplicated and unthreatening. People have a sentimental yearning for such things as puppies and ponies, and she filled it in tennis.

To her credit, she seemed to be happy with her boringness and didn’t try to pretend to be more interesting than she was, as some people do out of insecurity. She was genuinely content with her boring self. But even that is kind of boring–you’d have to be supremely boring to be at peace with your own boringness.

Huh Says:


see the LOL at the end of my post, I cannot be serious always, you know! ;)

and poor henin, she’s no comparson to rafa, not a single wimby, not even close to being the greatest clay courter among women! and even though you’re crazy about henin, serena is much better player. henin doesn’t hold a candle to serena when serena’s at her best. I’d always take an arrogant yet courageous woman player like serena over your fave beautiful one handed BHer henin when the stakes are highest(except at FO).
but rafa is all-time great. of course there’re guys like fed, borg, pete, laver, macenroe who’re mpre talented and connors and lendl too’ve more variety than nadal. add to the list pancho gonzales who’s one of my revered players. they’re great too, probably slightly better than rafa in some aspects. but rafa is still unique. theres no comparison between him and henin.

serena did take henin down in most important occasions so many times. but nobody has been able to take down nadal like that. nadal has beaten even fed when stakes are high or highest. that’s the speciality of nadal! admit it. he may be playing a physical game, but the guy wins matches and stamps his authority in most critical stages. nadal lost three matches to nole in slams, but those weren’t the matches that had most at stake. nadal won the most important match against nole, losing which’d have proved fatal to nadal’s career, the match being 2012 FO. simlarly nadal also won the match of 2008 wimby which was absolutely essential for him, losing it would’ve crushed his spirit forevr, and he mights even reitred by now! but nadal didn’t lose wimby 08 nor did he lose 2009 oz, he had to win those matches, and he did win it. so far nadal has shown that when the stakes are highest, he’s still the man, even federer failed to beat him!

and make no mistake, one-handed BH always loved by me more than two handed BH, but some of the greatest players like connors, borg etc played with BH, even Agassi, who was a two hander. So Nadal isn’t the only guy who played one handed BH! and nadal’s lousy BH played a big part in costing fed the WIM 2008! ;)

and so far as putting words in your mouth goes, show me where i did. nowhere i mentioned you calling henin as a great player! not only i purposefully avoided saying so, but i even added satire to it through my “LOL”! you should be able to catch it!

Sienna Says:

thats just great Kimberly you judge a girl in 2003 for something which migth be misunderstood or maybe just a mistake.

Henin and Clijster both put in a lot of effort and passion. Maybe try to look beoynd things like your feelings about a player. This is also what you do with Federer for instance.

This is vid about the goodbye (first time) for Kim in Belgium.

It is in dutch but maybe you can hearpassion in the song en the tears of Kim.

Of course Kim and Henin. Where both on different sides. Belgium is torn by the two languages and well it is just terrible. Kim was the peoples champion for the dutch speaking Belgiums.

Maybe you should hounus both of them because two girls from belgium who both became best tennisers of the world is actually incredible for that country.

Sienna Says:

huh I dont mind Federer losing to Nadal in Wim 08 or Garros 2008.
2008 is in hindside (that correct spelling?) Fed’s best year he mentally had.

It was a year where his charater and determination was put to the test and he prevailed. He laid the foundation of his winnings these dayse AND TO COME in that year.

He became a tough cooky in that year.

WHen the dust settles over this era and they are retired. Nadal will be a footnote in Federers ERA.

is how they will be remembered. Federer and his disciples. Now hope for Nadal he doesnot turn out to be a Judas/

Huh Says:


if i have to pick only four players, i’d pick only fed, borg, laver and pete…

however, it’s true that even to me, the games of a long list of guys is more interesting than nadal, which includes, in addition to the above 4(without whom there’s no tennis conversation), the following guys:

after fed, pete, borg n laver, i actually like jmac, gonzo, edberg and becker too much. then come safin n nalby.

then come lendl, connors, agassi, delpo, muzza, djoko, rafter, hewitt, roddick. guga BH was a thing of absolute beauty and strength too.

among the current my sentimental faves’re fed and roddick though, with murray and delpo coming at third and fourth places.

fed and pete my all time sentimental faves.

Huh Says:

rafa is not my fave at all, i root for all guys against nadal except berdych and davy! berdych’s terrible person while davy’s boring and too reserved and mechanical for my taste.

but… nadal is an all-time great for sure. few players in history’ve his achievements, you name them! ;)

Sienna Says:

I must say that if I was put on the spot then maybe I will take Lendl over Federer.

I just found his Wimbledon saga breath taking.

After his final against Mac he cought my attention and I was a fn for life.

Coming back from 0-2 was in my mind something impossible. (I was a youngster or kid back then)
But the drama with it was captaviting.
The return in my memorie are beoynd credibility. So many where outside the court and beside the net and he made it look easy those shots.

So after a while he was really going for Wimbly (he hated gras) but wanted to win. and brought him 2 finals and he failed miserably in those finals. But in order to achieve his goal dream he was willing to sacrifice all. N Garros and he altered his game just to become a better volleyer because you could only win wimbledon playing serve and volley unless you were Borg.

Lendl did it the hard way. Only years after I found out he won other slams besides Garros. In europe there was not real attention to AU Open or US Open in those days. Nowadays the slams are somewhat eve. Wimbly on top followed byy US Open, AU Open and a bit behind Garros.

Thos days it was Wimbledon.//… Garros and nothing oh No US Open AU Open..

Well just that was because no internet and less television coverage.
What a nice thing we have these days so You all can bash away on Federer.

Huh Says:

oh roddick :(

Huh Says:


oh ho, i understood now what you mean by calling nadal footnote, you meant footnote in fed’s era in the sense that it will be remembered as fed and the rest, no? if that’s so, then fine! that’s also how i think it should be remembered, i mean nadal’s great no doubt but the era belongs to ONLY federer. we agree here then.

Huh Says:

I think Borg was the sickest player in the world. back to back rg-wim those days 3 years in a row, that’s beyond comprehensible! the courts were so different back then, unlike now! the wimby was lightning fast then and rg snail slow, but borg had it both!

andrea Says:

bye kim! it’s been fun. and now, goodbye to roddick….who i felt would retire this year. makes me realize how long i’ve been watching tennis! it feels like yesterday that roddick won the us open.

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