"I had to make the decision that I will not be able to compete in January," Kim Clijsters former tennis professional revealed recently to the media and tennis community. She had sustained a knee injury in preparation for her comeback to tennis with the 2020 Australian Open.
She now has to push back her participation and reconsider other issues before getting on tour again. It was a few months ago that she bubbly announced to the world of her second comeback into the WTA declaring that "Let's see if I can get my body in shape to play tennis at a level where I would like it to be..."
The knee injury may be an indication to slow up but not hard to stop in her quest for playing satisfaction and accomplishments. It has been seven years and three children later for Clijsters who last went on the competitive courts to play against Li Na and won the third round at the 2012 Australian Open.
She has been active in tennis as a BBC and Eurosport commentator but this upcoming time yearning to be a playing spirit again. Kim Clijsters accolades are legendary as she's captured 41 singles and 11 doubles titles.
As of her heavy tennis resume when she is ready to return she'll have access to unlimited wild cards. She has also been inducted into the 2017 International Tennis Hall of Fame and at 36 years old admits that "I feel like I'm too young to be retired...I can't wait to get back on the match court and see what's possible..."
There is a need also of what being on tour will have on her body physically. She'll have to face the teens Cori Gauff and U.S. Open champ Bianca Andreescu as well as the new Shenzhen winner Ashleigh Barty. Aryna Sabalenka and seasoned players like Kiki Bertens and Simona Halep to name a few will be only a handful of the daredevil opponents she'll have to battle with for victories.
The Belgian knows what she's buying into by making a return and as yet hasn't determined the prognosis of her injury or the proposed comeback tournament she is at. All she knows is that "It's a setback, but I'm determined as ever to get back to the game I love."
The test will be when she gets on court and how playing will affect her not only emotionally as well as physically. It will be her playing energies and spirit to dictate how long she'll be able to keep up and play satisfactorily like she needs and wants to play.