Less than two weeks after announcing a comeback at the Miami Open and Volvo Car Open as a wildcard, Kim Clijsters is withdrawing from both tournaments because of an unsatisfactory level of physical fitness.
The four-time Grand Slam champion Clijsters had ended an eight-year absence from competitive tennis in 2020, but she has played just three matches since. The Miami Open was supposed to be her first tournament in over six months. Unfortunately, the 37-year-old hasn’t managed to adequately prepare for upcoming challenges, so she’s decided to postpone the return.
In October, Clijsters underwent a right knee surgery to repair damage that accumulated through the course of her long career. The rehab progressed well, but in January she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and even though the symptoms were mild, the disease disrupted her training schedule. Despite intensive training in the last few weeks, the veteran is not as fit as she needs to be to feel comfortable on the WTA Tour.
Even though this mom of three is facing a lot of setbacks, she’s determined to continue her illustrious career:
It’s disappointing and frustrating. I knew this was going to be hard when I started this journey – and there have been challenges that are out of my control. I’m not ready to quit … I’m going to keep pushing and see what’s possible.
In the next three to six weeks, Clijsters will undergo some pain management treatment and then make a decision about her future schedule.
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