Berlin, 12 September 2019 (dpa/MIA) – The four-time grand slam champion Kim Clijsters intends to come out of retirement and return to the WTA Tour in 2020, the Belgian tennis great announced Thursday.
“The love for the sport is obviously still there,” the 36-year-old told the WTA Insider Podcast.
“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.”
The former world number won Clijsters won the US Open in 2005 but shocked tennis by retiring two years later, aged 23, to start a family.
A comeback from 2009 brought two more slams in New York before her last major victory in Australia in 2011. She retired again in 2012 and is now mother of three.
Clijsters has remained close to tennis through her academy and commentary work but admitted watching some games and thinking “that’s not where I’m going to be able to get to because it just looks like they’re hitting the ball so much harder.”
“We can talk about the start of 2020 and see where can we get a wild card, but if I feel in December that I’m not even near to where I want to be, then I’m not going to go just for the sake of going somewhere,” she said.
“I still have three and a half months before and so I still think I can have a lot of improvement to go through in these next few months and that I look forward to seeing where that will lead me.”