Kim Clijsters admitted that playing in the era of Serena Williams and other all-time greats positively impacted her career. Clijsters, who turned pro in 1997, got a chance to play against several all-time greats during her career.
When Clijsters first came on the Tour, Jeniffer Capriati, Monica Seles and Steffi Graff were still active. Then, on the big scene came the Williams sisters. The men's game also enjoyed its golden days as in the early 2000s Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray came on the scene.
Clijsters on playing in the era of several all-time greats
"I feel very lucky that I've been able to play in an era where it started early, as 1998 was my first year on tour. I played against Capriati, I was able to play against Steffi (Graf), Monica (Seles), and then I was able to play Venus and Serena, watch Roger and Rafa compete, and Andy, Novak.
I feel so lucky that I've been a part of watching these guys and women compete at a level, and they've helped me improve and get better, just to learn from them. Even when they're practicing next to you or you're watching them from your hotel room on TV, you absorb so much.
Without a doubt, that whole generation has had a huge impact on even the professional players that were playing," Clijsters said on the Craig Shapiro tennis podcast, as quoted on Sportskeeda. During her career, Clijsters won four Grand Slam titles and also reached the world No 1 ranking.
Interestingly, Clijsters lost each of her first four Grand Slam finals. Then, Clijsters won her next four Grand Slam finals and finished with a 4-4 record in Grand Slam finals. In April, Clijsters announced her third and final retirement from pro tennis. Clijsters is widely considered one of the best players from her generation.
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