Kim Clijsters announces second comeback from retirement

This marks the second time in her career the Belgian makes a return to the professional circuit after announcing her retirement.

Kim Clijsters has four major singles Grand Slam titles.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters on Thursday announced a second comeback from retirement to the WTA tour in 2020, having stepped away from the game in 2007 and 2012.

"For the past seven years I've been a full-time mom. And I love it. I really, really do... But I also love being a professional tennis player. Honestly, I miss that feeling. So what if I tried to do both," the Belgian says in a video posted on her Instagram account.

"Could I be a loving mom to my three kids and the best tennis player I can possibly be? Let's do this. Let's come back one more time. See you in 2020," Clijsters, a mother of three, says in the video that shows her training.

Clijsters, 36, first ascended to the top spot in the women's ranking in 2003, a year in which she reached the French Open and US Open finals, losing both to compatriot and fellow former world No. 1 Justine Henin.

Clijsters won her first major at the 2005 US Open, having fallen to Henin in her previous three finals and once to Jennifer Capriati in 2001. She retired at the end of the 2007 season and gave birth to her first daughter the next year.

In 2009, Clijsters staged a memorable comeback during the American hard court season, which culminated in her winning the US Open title, making her the first mother to win a singles major title since Evonne Goolagong-Cawley at Wimbledon 1980. Clijsters' run at that US Open was notable for her wins over third seed Venus Williams in the fourth round and second seed Serena Williams in the semifinals, the latter receiving a point penalty on match point for verbally abusing a line judge.

 

Clijsters retained the US Open title in 2010. She won the Australian Open in 2011 and briefly returned to the top of rankings after the Paris Open. But injuries led to a second retirement, Wimbledon and the US Open being her last two tournaments on the WTA tour.

In addition to four major singles titles from eight titles, Clijsters won the French Open and Wimbledon doubles titles with Japan's Ai Sugiyama in 2003.