On December 12th, at the Antwerp Sportpaleis, Kim Clijsters marked her retirement from tennis in an exhibition event called Kim’s Thank You Games, joined by Venus Williams, Amelie Mauresmo and Kirsten Flipkens. There were many celebrities in attendance, including Prince Philip and his wife Mathilda, as well as fellow retired Belgian WTA star Justine Henin.
In a ceremonial farewell singles match, Clijsters defeated Venus Williams 6-3 6-3, while in the doubles match that followed Venus Williams and Kirsten Flipkens prevailed against the team of Clijsters and Mauresmo, 8-5.
Kim is looking forward to completely taking up a peaceful family life:
The first thing l’ll be doing after today is looking after Jada, prepare breakfast for her, the same daily life as before to be honest. Get a Christmas tree in and decorate it. I love to cook, I’ll be reading more now, take care of the garden, look after the house.
And her next goal is to extend her family:
I’ve realized all the dreams I had when I was a little girl. Become the world’s number one, reel in Grand Slams. But things change when you grow older and we would love to have another child.
The possibility of sometimes assisting world No.54 Kirsten Flipkens is always there, but their collaboration could be only occasional:
I might have been her coach at the Luxembourg tournament, but I don’t want to travel the world for 35 weeks on row anymore. It could be I’ll help Kirsten out once and a while, but we didn’t even talk about any of that.
(source: KimClijsters.be, photo: © Neal Trousdale)
Isn’t it interesting how the older player/ player about to retire/ home crowd favorite always wins the exhibition matches. Wink wink, well played. 😉
Mark, oh well, it’s an exhibition, made for fun. But still, Clijsters is always a force and Venus is not in her peak.
Maybe for Venus this match was not as important, and she let go of it.