Kim Clijsters itching to start playing again as she reveals how she drew inspiration from Andy Murray
It has been a while since Kim Clijsters has played competitively as her second comeback has suffered several setbacks so naturally the former world No 1 is excited about her upcoming match at the Chicago Fall Classic.
Seven years after retiring from tennis, Clijsters made her return in February 2020 as she competed in two WTA Tour events before the sport was forced to go on a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The four-time Grand Slam winner then continued her comeback at last year’s US Open, losing in the opening round, before knee surgery forced her not only to end her 2020 season early, but also delayed her 2021 return.
Clijsters will finally step foot on court again on Monday as she will take on Hsieh Su-Wei in Chicago.
“I’ve been practicing for a long time so I’m excited to start playing matches again,” the Belgian said during her press conference. “That’s the reason I’m here, to play more matches so I can slowly build my level and get more match rhythm and match routine under my belt.
“I feel like in practice I’m doing a lot of things well and I’m getting fitting and stronger. Now it’s just a matter of trying to get enough matches.”
The 38-year-old also explained what “triggered” her latest comeback.
“Going to some of the events and hitting with some of the players just triggered a challenge within myself,” she said. “That was the main reason, that little trigger of, I wonder if I can get myself in a situation where I can play the tennis I like to play and I know I can play.”
It is no easy task returning to competitive tennis, but she is hoping to take a leaf out of Andy Murray’s book with the former men’s world No 1 also on the comeback trail after missing nearly two years due to a long-standing hip injury.
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“Seeing Andy Murray and the way he speaks about his comeback and everything, it’s so motivating and it gives you a lot of energy too,” Clijsters said.
“To see him go through the things he’s gone through and be open about the challenges of it and the belief that he has, I feel like it’s something I can relate to.”
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