Elise Mertens: 'Kim Clijsters hits ball very hard, it's not easy to keep pace'

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Elise Mertens: 'Kim Clijsters hits ball very hard, it's not easy to keep pace'

Former world no. 1 and one of the most accomplished players of the last two decades Kim Clijsters will return to tennis next month in Monterrey, earning a wild card at Indian Wells and Charleston as well after staying away from the cour since the US Open 2012!

The Belgian couldn't make a comeback at the Australian Open due to a knee injury taking more time to get back at her 100% and start competing again. In the meanwhile, Kim has been practicing with the Belgian Fed Cup squad in Kortrijk, backing her teammates who will compete against Kazakhstan on Friday and Saturday for the place at the first Fed Cup Finals in Budapest in April.

If they pass the upcoming obstacle, the Belgians will travel to Budapest in April and fight for the Fed Cup title, with Clijsters who could join the squad and use her vast experience from big matches. Kim has hit on a high level with her teammates, forcing Elise Mertens to run for her money and making the captain Johan Van Herck confident about the upcoming tie against Kazakhstan and her comeback in a couple of weeks, still not ready to embrace the court this weekend.

"This is a win-win situation for all of us," said captain Johan Van Herck. "It is a good thing for us to be able to benefit from someone who is that experienced, but it is also good for Kim as well. At her Academy, she has to train alone or with her students while there are some top players here; it's beneficial for everyone.

Everything is going very well so far. We do have an option to include Kim in the squad but that will not happen. It was clear from the very first day she came here only to practice, taking care of her body and not rushing anything before that comeback in Monterrey."

"Kim hits the ball very hard," Elise Mertens said. "I had to do my best to keep up. It is always nice to play against her because she is very motivated. It makes training even more fun. Her level is excellent and I hope I can train with her again this week. "