Kim ClijstersTennis Player
Born: 8 June 1983
Birthplace: Bilzen, Belgium
Best known as: The U.S. Open winner who retired and then came back to win it twice more
Kim Clijsters is the Belgian tennis star who returned after retirement and motherhood to win the U.S. Open in 2009 and 2010. Kim Clijsters comes from an athletic family: her father Leo (also called Lei) was a former soccer star who was named Belgium's player of the year in 1988. Kim took up tennis and won her first WTA Tour singles title at Luxembourg in 1999, and reached her first major final in 2001, losing to Jennifer Capriati in the French Open. The appearance made Kim Clijsters the first Belgian woman ever to play in a Grand Slam final. She and countrywoman Justine Henin- quickly became the rising stars of Belgian tennis and rivals at the top of the tennis circuit. (Kim Clijsters was the power player, Justine Henin more of a baseliner. Cheeky commentators called them the "Brussels sprouts.") By the end of 2003 Clijsters had won 19 WTA singles championships and was ranked #2 in the world, and in 2005 she won the U.S. Open. She retired in May of 2007 when she was only 23, due in part to injuries, and in 2008 she had a baby. But in August of 2009 Kim Clijster returned to the tennis tour, playing and winning her first match in Cincinnati. The next month she stunned the tennis world by winning the U.S. Open in New York, defeating Caroline Wozniacki in the final by scores of 7-5 and 6-3. In 2010 she won the U.S. Open again, defeating Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-1, and in 2011 she defeated Li Na of China 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to win the Australian Open.
Extra credit: Kim Clijsters is 1.74 meters tall (5'8 1/2"), according to the WTA website... She is right-handed... Kim Clijsters married pro basketball player Brian Lynch, an American, in 2007. Their daughter, Jada, was born in February of 2008... Evonne Goolagong Cawley was the last mother to win a Grand Slam title in tennis, at Wimbledon in 1980... Kim Clijsters was engaged to Australian tennis ace Lleyton Hewitt in 2003, but they split in 2004... Her younger sister Elke Clijsters (b. 1985) also plays competitive tennis... According to the WTA, her name is pronounced KLEYE-sters.
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