Kim Clijsters’ much-awaited return to the tour this season ended in a first-round loss at the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic on Monday. Su-Wei Hsieh defeated the Belgian, who’d received a wild card in the main draw, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in two hours and 18 minutes.
Speaking after her win on-court, the Chinese Taipei player said, “We all know she’s a very great, great, great player. Outside the court, she’s very nice, very polite, very kind, I’ve always liked her a lot.
I’m very excited to play her; I’m lucky I didn’t play her ten years ago!” This was the first time the two players were playing each other. The former world no. 1, who made her professional tennis comeback in 2020, has now lost all four matches she’s played in 2020 and 2021.
Meanwhile, in the second round in the windy city, Hsieh will take on sixth seed Ons Jabeur.
Chicago Fall Tennis Classic: Injury halts Madison Keys' prospects
Clijsters’ compatriot, Kirsten Flipkens, also crashed out in the first round.
Tenth-seeded American Danielle Collins defeated the Belgian, who’d qualified for the main draw, 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 21 minutes. In the second round, Collins will play Misaki Doi. The Japanese defeated the Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3 in three hours and five minutes in the first round.
Collins’ fellow American and the ninth seed, Jessica Pegula also reached the second round. Pegula ousted Polish qualifier Magdalena Frech 6-3, 6-0 in 66 minutes. For a place in the third round, Pegula will play Andrea Petkovic.
The German defeated Belarusian lucky loser Olga Govortsova 6-2, 6-2 in their first-round clash. Veronika Kudermetova, seeded 12th in Chicago, also took her place in the second round. Kudermetova came through in the Russian derby against qualifier Anna Kalinskaya 7-6(8), 4-6, 6-2 in two hours and 27 minutes.
In the second round, Kudermetova will play either American qualifier Lauren Davis or Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia. Aliaksandra Sasnovich reached the second round of the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic after her opponent, American Madison Keys retired mid-match with an injury to her shoulder.
Sasnovich was leading 6-4, 2-0 at the time of Keys’ retirement. For a place in the round-of-16, Sasnovich will play fifth seed Elena Rybakina.