Former World No. 1 Kim Clijsters, of Belgium, says that thinking about playing the US Open gets her excited, during a chat on “Hall of Fame Live” on the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Facebook page. The Belgian, who returned to the tour earlier this year just before the tennis shutdown, says, “From the moment that I start thinking about if there’s a potential US Open, I want to prepare for that, I want to be ready and give it a shot, and see what I could do there.
“Anytime I step out on [Arthur Ashe Stadium], even if it’s just to watch somebody who’s out there, or just to do a ceremony or anything, It’s incredible, it’s so special to me personally. I have so many memories there and you just try to take it all in again.
“If I get the opportunity to do that again, in a way it will almost feel like 20 years ago or 15 years ago, when I was out there. From the beginning, it’s like a new story. It’s exciting, I look forward to it.
I’m very happy to play out on Court 18 as well!" After more than seven years away, Clijsters came back to the tour in February - losing in the first round in Dubai to Garbiñe Muguruza and in Monterrey to Johanna Konta.
“I was just excited to start. I’d been practicing for so long that I felt like, ‘Okay, I need to start playing matches, this is why I’m doing this.’ To my surprise, I wasn’t really that nervous.
It felt very right to be there. It felt like the right choice”. “I’m re-experiencing everything. When I’m out there, things that back in the day were normal and happened automatically, I have to re-learn or find again.
That’s been fun, at times frustrating, and all those emotions are fun. “What I love the most about it is the process working towards an event with my team. There’s great moments in there, but also tough times, with injuries, with disappointment.
And it’s all good, because we’re all in it together, and we accept it and we talk and we communicate. That’s something that I really enjoy about it. “Of course it’s a balancing act, like a lot of parents who work and have kids and try to follow a passion. But we try to make it work, and it wouldn’t work without help and people around me, without my team”.