Kim Clijsters announces shock comeback to tennis aged 36
Four-time Grand Slam champion Clijsters back in training with plans to play on tour in 2020
Last Updated: 12/09/19 3:13pm
Former world No 1 Kim Clijsters has announced a shock second comeback to tennis at the age of 36, after a seven-year hiatus.
The Belgian, who initially returned to competitive tennis two years later following the birth of her first child, is in training with plans to compete on tour in 2020.
Clijsters won three Grand Slam titles on her return to the sport before hanging up her racket again in 2012 and has revealed she has been inspired by the success of fellow mothers on tour, such as Serena Williams.
"At 36 years old, I feel like I'm too young to be retired, and with so many inspirational athletes and mums competing," Clijsters, who has since had two more children, told the WTA Tour.
"I can't wait to get back on the match court and see what's possible after having three children."
Clijsters won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2005 after four runner-up finishes in majors in her 'first career' and after 26 months away from the tour launched a successful comeback.
Following the birth of her first child, she won her second Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows in just her third comeback event, before she defended the US Open in 2010 and then won the 2011 Australian Open.
Clijsters, who has won 41 singles titles in her career, is eligible for unlimited wildcards at WTA tournaments and will need to play three tournaments or earn 10 ranking points to re-establish a ranking.
"Kim Clijsters ranks among the greats of the game and her return to the Tour is exciting news for the WTA family and tennis fans around the world," said Steve Simon, WTA chairman and CEO.
"Driven by her love for the sport, this wonderful champion continues to inspire women and men in all walks of life - and she only adds to the compelling wealth of talent in women's tennis. I wish Kim all the best in this next chapter of her playing career."