Kim Clijsters eliminated from the start for his first match in a year

For her first game in over a year, Kim Clijsters was eliminated Monday in the first round of the WTA 500 tournament in Chicago by Taiwanese Su-Wei Hsieh (97th), 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. The Belgian, former world number one who has now fallen beyond 1000th place in the WTA rankings, had received an invitation to this tournament, although she had not appeared in competition since September 2, 2020 in the US Open.

Clijsters, 38, has been attempting a third high-level comeback since 2019, after retiring for the second time in 2012. But while his first comeback in 2009 was resounding with three Grand Slam titles at stake, this one- this is more difficult. Clijsters has so far failed to win any of the matches she has played. In 2020, she had only participated in three tournaments (Dubai, Monterrey and the US Open), from which she had each time been eliminated from the start.

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Operated on one knee in October 2020 then victim of Covid-19 in January, the one who has 43 titles to her list was initially due to make her return in March in Miami, before having to review her plans. Monday, after a good start to the match, where she led 3-0 against Hsieh, the Belgian failed to keep pace, sometimes struggling in travel and multiplying unforced errors in the first set (13). In the second round, the Belgian, more incisive despite a still irregular game, managed to pick up the score. But in the third set, it was finally the Taiwanese who was able to make the difference at the right time, Clijsters giving away several opportunities to come back, to win after 2h20 of play. In the next round, Hsieh, a specialist in doubles but who had reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open 2021 in singles, will be opposed to the Tunisian Ons Jabeur (16th in the world).

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