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Clijsters announces her retirement from tennis for a third – and final – time

The Belgian said she had no regrets about trying to come back for a second time

Kim Clijsters Photo News/Panoramic

Belgium’s Kim Clijsters announced her retirement from professional tennis on Tuesday, calling time on a glorious career which included four Grand Slam titles, the No 1 ranking and 41 titles worldwide.

It is the third time the 38-year-old Clijsters has retired but this time it looks like being for good, two years after she announced a surprise comeback.

“I want to share with you that I have decided to no longer play official tournaments,” Clijsters said on Instagram.

“I can’t wait to see what new adventures will cross my path. Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the past two years!”

Clijsters expanded on her decision in a special piece on the WTA website.

“It’s been on my mind for a while,” Clijsters said. “I still love to hit the ball. With my schedule three, four days was enough to keep my rhythm under control but definitely not good enough if I decided to play another tournament. Say, if I picked Australia, it’s three, four weeks. That’s just not possible at this stage in our family life. Life just sort of takes over, right?”

Clijsters in classic action during the 2007 Australian Open

Clijsters first retired in 2007 only to return in 2009 in stunning fashion, winning the US Open in just her third event back, and adding another US Open title and Australian Open crown before retiring again in 2012.

Her second comeback was ruined, effectively, by the Covid-19 pandemic and a knee injury, which restricted her to just five matches in all.

But Clijsters said she had no regrets about her career.

“None. I’ve always made career decisions on how I felt at the time – not what was good for my career in the long run. I’m happy how everything worked out.”

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