Four-time grand slam winner Kim Clijsters has announced she is coming out of retirement and earmarked 2020 for a return to the court.
In a video posted on social media, the former world No. 1 who famously won the 2009 US Open a year after giving birth, revelled she plans to get back to playing on the 2020 WTA Tour.
“For the past seven years, I’ve been a full time mum, and I love it. I really, really do.
“But I also love being a professional tennis player. And honestly, I miss that feeling.
“So, what if I tried to do both? Could I be a loving mum to my three kids and the best tennis player I can be?
“Let’s do this, let’s come back one more time.”
The 36-year-old is making a second tour comeback having initially retired in 2007 following a combination of injuries and the desire to start a family.
However, after having her first child Jada in 2008, the Belgian made a shock return a year later and went on to add three grand slams to her 2005 US Open title.
Following back-to-back titles in New York in 2009 and 2010, she also added the 2011 Australian Open to her list of honours.
Clijsters’ was lauded as an inspiration to sportswomen globally for being able to forge a successful, trophy-laden career after childbirth.
She then called time on her career again in 2012, and went on to have two more children Jack and Blake.
Reacting to the news, WTA Chairman Steve Simon was pleased to welcome Clijsters back onto the tour.
“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 Simon. “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.”
Clijsters is eligible for unlimited wild cards at WTA tournaments, but will need play three tournaments or earn 10 ranking points to re-establish a ranking.