Kim Clijsters reveals her self-imposed deadline to make it back to the top

Former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters revealed she was planning to give herself two years to make a successful comeback to tennis. 

It has been two years since Clijsters came out of her second retirement and she has yet to win a match. 

Clijsters kicked off her 2021 season in Chicago at the end of last month and on Thursday lost to Katerina Siniakova in the Indian Wells Masters first round. 

“When I started this, I wanted to give it a really good shot for two years – those two years will end at the end of this year,” said the 38-year-old, per Tennis Majors. “Obviously COVID kind of changed everything up a little bit, timing-wise. Obviously for a lot of players that wasn’t fun but made it a little tougher also for me. On the other hand I was home, I didn’t have to worry about being away and travelling without the kids or putting them in the bubble with me and those kinds of things.

“When I started it was two years – give myself a chance for two years to see how I can work my way back into a good rhythm and playing the tennis that I would like to play.”

Clijsters is a mother of three children

“There’s moments where my son is like, ‘Hey Mom, I want you to lose tomorrow so that means that you can come home,’ or it’s like, ‘Hey mom, we were cheering for you when we saw you on TV, and we want you to win,’ so it changes!” Clijsters said. “They don’t get into it like that. My daughter is, she does, Jada [now 13]. She’s a pretty decent basketball player herself and she loves to compete and she’s probably old enough also to see the work that I’m putting in when I’m at home and sees me doing everything when she’s off, or at the weekend she sees me working out and everything, we will do workouts together sometimes. So yeah, she knows the work that I’m putting in to try and grow at this stage as a tennis player and so for her, it’s a little bit different. Her reaction is a little bit different than it is for my two younger ones.”