Four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters had originally been drawn to play against Dutch player Kiki Bertens tomorrow, on the opening day at the Dubai Open. However, yesterday Bertens announced her withdrawal from the tournament, which forced a shift of seeds in the women’s draw. Now, the Belgian ace will play her first match since September 2012 against the 9th seed, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.
Interestingly, Clijsters had retired in September 2012, just months after Muguruza went pro, so they never had a chance to compete against each other. But, Muguruza’s coach Conchita Martinez and Kim Clijsters have played each other six times from 2000-2005.
Out of those six times, Martinez won just once against Clijsters in 2000 in San Diego, California. After that, she could only pull off a set against the Belgian veteran.
Former World No. 1 Clijsters owns 41 career singles titles and 11 career doubles titles. Despite her previous accomplishments, she’ll need to bring her A-game against Muguruza and the other newer players.
Over the last seven years, women’s tennis has truly evolved. The women are employing a wider variety of shots and hitting groundstrokes and serves much harder than ever before.
And as for the returns… Kim Clijsters is one of the best returners around. I am quite certain that Kim can withstand anything that Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova, Ashleigh Barty and Aryna Sabalenka can smack at her.
I think Clijsters will give us an exciting match tomorrow, and we wish her the best of luck! Who else is excited to see Kim Clijsters back on the courts?