Two years after winning her first major at the 2005 U.S. Open, an injury-plagued Clijsters made a decision to quit the game at the age of 23 to start a family, returning two years later to claim her second U.S. Open as an unranked player in only her third tournament back.
Four-time Grand Slam tennis champion Kim Clijsters announced Thursday she plans to return to the sport she once dominated.
Then, in just the third tournament of her comeback, Clijsters won the 2009 US Open as an unranked wildcard.
Kim Clijsters watched Serena Williams' latest wonderful tennis comeback - and now she's going to try to pull off her own, with two more kids at home and after several more years on the sideline. The former No. 1 player in the world retired in 2012 but says she is ready to enter the tennis world again.
This isn't the first time that Clijsters, 36, has come out of retirement.
"I don't really feel like I want to prove something", Clijsters told the WTA Insider Podcast.
Clijsters turned pro in 1997, won the US Open for the first time in 2005 and walked away from tennis in 2007 at just 23, shortly before getting married to an American basketball player, Brian Lynch. Clijsters beat Williams in the semifinals in a match best remembered for Williams' tirade against a lineswoman who called her for a foot fault.
Kim Clijsters and daughter Jada after her US Open triumph in 2009.
Embracing reduced schedule in 2010, Clijsters conquered Brisbane, Miami, Cincinnati, the US Open and the WTA Championships, proving her class again and adding the fourth Major crown to her tally next January in Melbourne, becoming world no. "I do feel that is something that [affects] me too". "Even if I don't make it, this whole process has been so worth it for me to get back into a good routine".
Clijsters is eligible for unlimited wild cards at WTA tournaments because of her former world number one status, but she will have to play three tournaments or earn 10 points to re-establish a ranking.
In a 51-second video on social media, she asked, "Could I be a loving mum to three kids, and the best tennis player I can possibly be?"