Belgian tennis legend Kim Clijsters admits that being in a relationship with Lleyton Hewitt had a positive impact on her career. Between 2000 and 2004, Clijsters dated Hewitt. In late 2003, Clijsters and Hewitt announced their engagement.
The following year, Clijsters and Hewitt ended their relationship and engagement.
Clijsters recalls relationship with Hewitt
"Being in a relationship with Lleyton (Hewitt) was something that, I learned a lot from him, and from the coaches that he was working with.
He worked with Darren Cahill, who, to me, is the greatest coach we have in our sport. Even Roger Rasheed. Just to be on court with those guys and to see how they approached Lleyton and how Lleyton worked, it was all a huge learning process for me as a young teenager.
He (Hewitt) was very committed and focused, and just so professional. Now that I'm older, I realize how important that part of my life has been in my development in tennis. The effort, the patience," Clijsters explained on the Craig Shapiro podcast, per Sportskeeda.
While Clijsters and Hewitt were dating, Hewitt was a Grand Slam champion while Clijsters was seeking her first Grand Slam title. After losing her first four Grand Slam finals, Clijsters finally captured her first Grand Slam title at the 2005 US Open.
In 2007, Clijsters announced an early retirement from tennis. Two years later, Clijsters returned to tennis and won three more Grand Slam titles before again announcing her retirement in 2012. After being retired for nearly a decade, Clijsters returned to action in 2020.
Unfortunately for Clijsters, this time she didn't enjoy much success after returning to tennis. In April, Clijsters announced her third retirement from tennis. Clijsters enjoyed a very successful career as she won four Grand Slam titles and she achieved the world No 1 ranking for the first time in 2003.