Seven years after retiring (for a second time), Kim Clijsters will make her return to tennis this upcoming week in Dubai.
The 36-year-old former No. 1 announced her intention of getting back on the tour in September. A knee injury derailed her bid to play in Australian again, though.
Her last event was was a second round loss to Laura Robson at the 2012 US Open.
“The love for the sport is obviously still there,” Clijsters told the WTA in September. “But the question still is, am I capable of bringing it to a level where I would like it to be at and where I want it to be at before I want to play at a high level of one of the best women’s sports in the world.
“I don’t feel like I need to prove anything, but I want to challenge myself and I want to be strong again. This is my marathon. This is where I’m saying OK, let’s try this.”
In the WTA Top 300, only Venus (39) and Serena Williams (38) are older than Clijsters.
Clijsters will be tested early as she’ll meet World No. 8 Kiki Bertens in the first round.
The Hall-of-Famer is a 4-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1. She and her husband, Brian Lynch, have three kids.
The draw features six of the Top 10 including Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, Belinda Bencic and Sofia Kenin.
In first round matches, Svitolina meets Garbine Muguruza, Maria Sakkari drew Aryna Sabalenka, Bencic opens her title defense against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Kenin collides with rising Kazakh Elena Rybakina.
I’m accepting a wild card to play the @DDFTennis. Since announcing my return, there have been a few bumps but looking forward to returning to the match court and what this next chapter brings … Thanks to all my fans for their encouragement these past weeks. See you in Dubai! pic.twitter.com/XOwIeEujyk
— Kim Clijsters (@Clijsterskim) February 9, 2020
Last year, Bencic beat Petra Kvitova in the final.
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