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US Open, Belgium, Mother: 10 questions about Kim Clijsters

Kim Clijsters is a six-time Grand Slam champion, a former world No 1 in singles and doubles, and a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Here are responses to some common questions about the Belgian

Kim Clijsters Kim Clijsters Photo News / Panoramic

Is Kim Clijsters still playing?

Kim Clijsters returned to the professional tour in February 2020. She competed in three events – Dubai, Monterrey, and the US Open – in the pandemic-affected season. The Belgian was scheduled to play in Miami and Charleston in 2021 but had to withdraw after her recovery from knee surgery was interrupted when she suffered Covid-19. She has yet to announce her next scheduled tournament appearance.

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Who is Kim Clijsters?

Kim Clijsters is a Belgian tennis player who competes on the women’s professional circuit. She was born in Bilzen, Belgium and splits her time between Belgium, where she has an academy (Kim Clijsters Academy) in Bree, and the United States. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2017.

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How old is Clijsters and what is her family background?

Clijsters, who stands at 5ft 8 1/2in (1.74m) tall, was born on June 8, 1983, and is currently 37 years old. Kim’s father, Leo, was a soccer player and coach and was named the 1988 Player of the Year in Belgium. He played 40 times for his country. He passed away in January 2009. Her mother, Els, was a top gymnast in Belgium. She also has a younger sister, Elke Clijsters, a former top 30 junior, who peaked at No 389 in singles and No 244 in doubles on the professional tour.

Is Kim Clijsters married?

Clijsters is married to Brian Lynch, an American basketball coach and former player. The two were married in 2007 and have three children – daughter Jada was born in 2008, followed by two sons Jack – born in 2013 – and Blake – born in 2016.

What is Kim Clijsters’ highest ranking?

Clijsters is a former world No 1 in singles & doubles. She first reached the No 1 spot in singles on August 11, 2003, and became the first Belgian player to attain the No 1 ranking.

She has spent a total of 20 weeks at the top of the singles rankings throughout her career. She spent 19 weeks at No 1 in her first career and returned to No 1 for one week on February 14, 2011 – making her the only mother to hold the top spot since computer rankings began in November 1975.

In doubles, she first achieved the No 1 ranking on August 4, 2003, and was No 1 for a total of four weeks. She is one of only six women to simultaneously hold the No 1 ranking in both singles and doubles.

Her current ranking and ranking history are available on her WTA Tour profile page.

How many Grand Slams has Kim Clijsters won?

Clijsters has won a total of six Grand Slam tournament titles, four in singles and two in doubles.

After losing the first four Grand Slam singles finals she contested, Clijsters won her first major at the 2005 US Open (beating Mary Pierce in the final). She won the 2009 US Open (beating Caroline Wozniacki) which made her the first wildcard in the women’s game to win a Grand Slam title and the first mother to win a Grand Slam title since 1980 Wimbledon (Evonne Goolagong Cawley).

She also won the 2010 US Open (beating Vera Zvonareva in the final) and the 2011 Australian Open (beating Li Na in the final). Along with Margaret Court, she also holds the record for most Grand Slam singles titles won as a mother (three).

Her two Grand Slam doubles titles came at Roland-Garros and Wimbledon in 2003 – both with Ai Sugiyama.

How many WTA titles has Clijsters won?

Clijsters has won 41 WTA singles titles in her career so far. She has also won 11 WTA doubles titles. Besides her Grand Slam titles, she has also won the season-ending WTA Finals in 2002, 2003, and 2010.

How much prize money has she won in her career?

Clijsters has won more than $24.5 million in career prize money. You can find her updated prize money stats on her WTA Tour profile page.

Who led the rivalry between Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin?

Clijsters led countrywoman Justine Henin 13-12 in their career head-to-head battles. The two played doubles together as juniors and won the Belgian Junior Championships in doubles when they were 10 and 11 years old respectively. Clijsters led their head-to-head on hardcourt 8-4, while Henin led the same on clay (5-1), and on grass (3-2).

Henin also won seven of their 11 meetings in tournament finals, including all three at Grand Slam tournaments. The two were part of the Belgium team that won the Fed Cup (now Billie Jean King Cup) in 2001 and reached the final in 2006.

Was Clijsters popular among her peers?

Clijsters was very popular and well-liked as a player – known to be one of the friendliest players among her peers. She has won the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award eight times (a record tied by Petra Kvitova in 2019).

Who were her idols?

Clijsters says her childhood tennis idol was German legend Steffi Graf. The two played once on the WTA Tour – in Graf’s second-last tournament appearance – at the 1999 Wimbledon Championships.

“It was unbelievable. All I wanted to do was watch her. I wanted to see how she tied her shoelaces, what her ponytail looked like, how she carried her bag. Even though I lost, the impact of that and the motivation it gave me was huge. It was definitely the biggest moment of my career,” Clijsters told The New York Times in 2017.

Was Clijsters engaged to Hewitt?

Clijsters was earlier engaged to former world No 1 men’s player Lleyton Hewitt, of Australia. The two met at the 2000 Australian Open and were engaged, earning the Belgian the popular nickname of “Aussie Kim”. The pair decided to mutually end their relationship towards the end of 2004.

The two reached the Wimbledon mixed doubles final in 2000, where they were beaten by Donald Johnson and Kimberly Po.

Is Kim Clijsters on social media?

Clijsters is active on social media. She updates her fans on Instagram (more than 128,000 followers), Twitter (481,500 followers), and Facebook (264,000 followers). She also has her personal website.

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