"Unfortunately I am not where I need to be especially if I want to compete with the best," Kim Clijsters, multi-grand slam winner explained to the Tennis.com media. The Belgium former no. 1 has come to the realization that her comeback may have to be postponed.
She was glad to have been given a wild card to the Miami Open and Charleston but sadly had to refuse it. "I want to thank the Miami and Charleston teams for the wild card opportunity and wish them all the best with their events," Kim graciously said.
The Belgian's journey was a long and hard one where she retired twice and re-entered the tour with great results. Clijsters' first retirement came in 2007. She'd turned pro in 1997, married and gave birth to daughter Jada.
The Belgian started feeling the need to return and decided to come out of retirement in 2009. Hard work and perseverance paid off as she won the 2009 US Open title. She would go on to capture the 2010 Open crown and the 2011 Australian Open title.
The struggle was real for Kim as she'd said that "I know I will not be playing for the whole season..." Clijsters retired after the 2012 US Open and within the 8 years had two sons. She began her second comeback perhaps prematurely.
"As you've heard I had COVID-19 in January and while the symptoms were mild, it did disrupt my training schedule..." She was prepared to make a third comeback at the 2020 Dubai Duty Free Championships entering as a wild card.
Clijsters didn't feel physically prepared to play her best and withdrew. She'd had a knee operation last year, which time and again resurfaces to bother her. "I am going to undergo some pain management...then regroup with my team and see what's next," she explained on her social media to the fans and tennis community.
Besides from meeting up with highly competitive opponents, Clijsters' training and the virus had caught up to the 41 career titled player. "I knew this was going to be hard when I started this journey. There have been challenges that are out of my control..."
the Belgian admitted. She's taking some time off to regroup and rehab on what her future tennis life could be like. She's thinking seriously and putting in the training to get back to a stronger, more competitive shape. She smiles and says frankly that "I'm going to keep pushing and see what's possible."