Kim Clijsters announces shock return to WTA Tour after seven years away

Kim Clijsters won the 2009 US Open in the third tournament of her first comeback to the sport

Two years after winning her first major at the 2005 U.S. Open, an injury-plagued Clijsters chose 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.

"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.

The WTA said Clijsters can receive unlimited wildcards for its tournaments being that she's a former top-ranked player.

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.

The former world No. 1 has been on a seven-year hiatus since retiring in late 2012. I know in four years, I'm not going to be able to do this. Clijsters became the first mother to win a Grand Slam title since Evonne Goolagong at Wimbledon in 1980. She will need to play three tournaments or earn 10 ranking points to re-establish a ranking. Clijsters was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2017 and we will see her on the court again in a couple of months time, having nothing to prove but just do what she likes the most, to be on the court and give her best in every match, as she did many times in the past. She retired again after the 2012 U.S. Open and later worked as as a tennis commentator and part-time coach.

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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. "Even if I don't make it, this whole process has been so worth it for me to get back into a good routine".

The 36-year-old mother of three won the 2009 U.S. Open.

Clijsters said having her kids in school allowed her to get back on a practice court during the day.

Prior to her retirement, the athlete won 41 WTA titles and was the tennis women's singles world number one for 20 weeks, the BBC reported.

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