Tennis News: Kim Clijsters, a four-time Grand Slam champion and former world No. 1, makes her first appearance of 2021 after knee surgery and a time out due to COVID-19, but the Belgian loses in the first round against 35-year-old Hsieh Su-Wei.
Kim Clijsters’ comeback to action at the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic was cut short when she was defeated in the first round by Hsieh Su-Wei.
The 38-year-old Belgian, who accepted a wild card into the hardcourt event, was making her first appearance of 2021 after knee surgery and a break due to COVID-19, and Hsieh proved too powerful.
Clijsters had hoped to ease her way back in but instead had to endure a two-hour and 18-minute battle that Hsieh won 6-3 5-7 6-3.
She looked competitive but faltered at vital stages, leaving her winless in four races since her comeback last year.
Clijsters made her comeback from retirement in February 2020, competing in two WTA Tour events before the COVID-19 outbreak suspended competition around the world.
The four-time Grand Slam champion returned to action at the 2020 US Open, where she was defeated by Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova before knee surgery forced her season to end. In January 2021, she became infected with the virus.
Clijsters won the US Open in 2005 before retiring for the first time two years later. In her third event back, she won a second major victory as an unseeded wild card in New York in 2009.
The Belgian defended her New York championship in 2010 and won the last of her four major titles at the Australian Open in 2011 before retiring for the second time in 2012.
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