Kim Glisters first saw her life five years ago on Rhode Island, Newport.
“At the International Tennis Hall of Fame I was able to walk into the history of tennis and see all the athletes and players I grew up watching as a child,” he said earlier this week. “Those who made me fall in love with the game.”
She was dumbfounded to see exhibitions featuring her childhood heroes.
“That’s when the whole movie in your head – my sister and I start playing [Elke] In Belgium we play on the way back. We go back and forth as Steffi Graf and Monica Celes. When it came to the French Open, one of us was always Arantza Sanchez.
Photos: An Overview of the Best Milestones in Kim Clijsters’ Career
That hot summer day in 2017 inspired him to be the first of the immortals of the Clisters game. On Friday he announced his withdrawal from the Hologic WTA Tour.
His most recent 20-month comeback was almost identical to the global epidemic, which never flew. Gradually, Glisters realized that his family was his number one priority.
The 38-year-old, along with her husband Brian, is busy raising their three children in the suburbs of New Jersey after moving out of Belgium. She takes them to school, goes back, oversees homework, cooks breakfast and dinner – and has endless laundry supplies.
“Yeah, it’s been on my mind for a while,” Clijsters said. “I still want to hit the ball. Three or four days on my schedule was enough to keep my rhythm in check, but definitely not enough if I decided to play another match. Tell me, if I choose Australia, it will be three, four weeks. At this point in our family life it is not possible.
“Life takes a while, doesn’t it?”
Her last official match was October 7, when she lost to Katarina Siniakova in the first round in Indian Wells. He continued to play world team tennis, winning more singles matches than he lost.
Looking back, Clijsters said he was too stubborn to let go of that high level of tennis. Of course, stubbornness is another word for determination, a trait she attributes most to her success.
“I think my determination to be a kid was a big factor,” Clijsters said. “It’s something that came from my parents – they always convinced me, ‘Well, you have to do 100 percent of what you do for your game.’ To feel.
“After all, I’m so proud – I did it. Ever since I stepped on the court, I have been determined, whether it was training or competition. I’ve been there to try my best.
Brief account of a career playing excellence in tennis: four Grand Slam singles titles, two doubles titles, 523-131 competitive record (80.0 percent), 41 titles in eight different years and $ 24 million and prize money.
His playing style was an arresting mix of power and flexibility; His father, Lee, was a formidable footballer and his mother, Else, was a gymnast. You can find it in her manuscript sections.
Clijsters became the first Grand Slam champion in his 20sTh On her birthday, she teamed up with I Sukiyama in the doubles section of the 2003 French Open. They played again at Wimbledon, but did not win the Glisters singles title at the US Open until 2005. In May 2007, at the age of 23, he retired for the first time.
“When I stopped playing, my dad was sick,” Clijsters said. “He talked about me saying he could play tennis again a few months ago and I said, ‘Dad, no. It’s not going to happen.’ ”
An invitation from the England club in 2009 prompted Clijsters to return to tennis. The time seemed right just a few months after the birth of a daughter, Jada.
“That’s when the hunger for competition came back, and yes, it went from there,” Clijsters said. “I waited a few weeks to see if the emotion would last, and it was over. There will definitely be moments in your life that will make you mature and make a big impact in your life. Losing my dad is one of those.
After playing for more than two years, before his impossible and successful run at the 2009 US Open, the Clijsters won five of seven matches in Cincinnati and Toronto. He defeated Serena and Venus Williams and Lee Na on the way to the final, where he defeated Caroline Wozniacki. This, Clijsters said, was his most emotional hit.
He defended his title in 2010, won the Australian Open in 2011 and retired from tennis in 2012 – again thinking it would be the last time. But seven years later, after Jack and Blake reunited with their family, Clisters wanted to play tennis one more time.
He played in only five matches – the COVID-19 World Tour was devastating and he suffered a knee injury – but as a testament to his interest, he extended three of them to the third set.
“My passion for tennis will never give up no matter what I do,” Clijsters said. “I feel the greatest need to give back to tennis because I’ve got so much out of it. So, yes, it’s the next step, to see where I can go?”
He rejected many of the current players ’demands to be a part-time coach, instead focusing on Jada’s growing basketball career. At age 14, she was already 5-foot-11, and her mother says she learned to get out of the way when she was tripping on the court at full speed.
Clijsters usually hit more balls at the nearby Atlantic Club in Manasquan. She played with Pro for a few hours last Friday morning and then came back for the pickle ball.
“It’s very serious,” Clisters said. “Once you’ve competed like I did when I was a kid, I love getting that challenge, I have to prove something.”
There will be no shortage of tennis options going forward. The experience of running the Kim Clijsters Academy in Brie, Belgium – the city where she grew up – showed her the reward of sharing her knowledge of the sport.
Recently, Clijsters toured with the women’s tennis team at the University of Manhamouth. He played doubles, played some singles points and sat on the court for an hour answering questions. He will be a part of Grand Slam tournaments, do television work and play Legends tennis – he is excited to add mixed doubles to their table at Wimbledon.
Glisters is determined to repay the kindness of those who helped him along the way.
“I can’t tell you the impact of Steffi and Monica and Arantza when I came on tour,” he said. “That world became my reality. They are loving, they will listen, they will give advice.
“No,” she said emphatically. “No. I have always made career decisions based on how I felt at that time – not what was good for my life in the long run. I’m glad everything ended.