Tennis

Kim Clijsters to make comeback in Dubai next week

Four-time Grand Slam winner Kim Clijsters announced yesterday she will return after seven years in retirement at the WTA tournament in Dubai starting next Monday.

The former world No. 1, who hung up her racket after the 2012 US Open, said: "I am so thrilled to be returning to the court. I'm impatient to resume this sport which I love, in front of the fans."

The 36-year-old Belgian described as "extraordinary" the support and encouragement she'd received since announcing her return in September.

Clijsters had originally planned to make her return at last month's Australian Open.

A knee issue scuppered that plan, with Mexico in March then proposed as an alternative, before she accepted an invitation from the Dubai organisers.

The holder of 41 titles, including three US Opens (2005, 2009 and 2010) and one Australian Open (2011), turned professional in 1997, the year before the birth of recently crowned Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.

Swiss great Roger Federer said last month that Clijsters' age doesn't matter, but it's her fitness and mind that's more important. - AFP

Tennis