Former Wimbledon semi-finalist Xavier Malisse says he has been practicing with former World No. 1 Kim Clijsters ahead of her comeback to the WTA Tour, according to the 7sur7 website. Clijsters announced earlier this week that she would be taking a wild card for the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships later this month, moving her comeback ahead of her planned comeback in Monterrey in March.
Clijsters announced on Twitter, "I'm accepting a wild card to play the @DDFTennis. Since announcing my return, there have been a few bumps but looking forward to returning to the match court and what this next chapter brings ...
Thanks to all my fans for their encouragement these past weeks. See you in Dubai!" Malisse hit with Clijsters last week and commented on her state of play. "It was a very good workout. After a while, she found her rhythm, while I was not holding back.
And then, it was more and more sharpened. Her strokes are still fantastic. Here and there, there were still some errors but it is completely normal after so many years without competition. If she is spared from injuries, I think she will be fine."
Clijsters last official match was the 2012 US Open where she lost in the second round to Britain's Laura Robson. This will be her second comeback to the tour. After giving birth to her first child Jada, Clijsters came back to the tour and won three more Grand Slam events before retiring for the second time in 2012.
She announced late last year that she was planning to comeback to the tour after seven years and was due to make a comeback in January but an injury sustained during training forced her to postpone her return and miss the Australian Open.