Former World No.1 and multiple grand slam champion Kim Clijsters recently announced her retirement from international tennis for the third time. Being a mother of three, the 38-year-old Belgian decided to hang her racket on the nail over her family priority this time.
“Yeah, it’s been on my mind for a while. I still love to hit the ball. With my schedule three, or four days was enough to keep my rhythm under control but definitely not good enough if I decided to play another tournament. Say, if I picked Australia, it’s three, or four weeks. That’s just not possible at this stage in our family life,” the three-time US Open winner Clijsters said in the recent WTA Interview.
“Life just sort of takes over, right?”
“I think my determination was something as a little girl that was a huge factor. This is something that came from my parents – they always pushed me in believing, ‘OK, what you do for your sport, you have to do it 100 percent.’ To this day, I think about what my dad said: `You have to realize at the end of your career you can’t regret not giving it everything you had.”
“And out of everything, that’s probably what I’m most proud of – that I really did that. From the moment I stepped on the court, whether it was practice or a match, I was committed. I was there to try my best.”
“When I stopped playing, my dad was sick. He talked about me maybe playing tennis again a few months before he passed, and I was like `Dad, no. That’s not going to happen”, the 2011 Australian Open champion added.
“I’ve Always Made Career Decisions On How I Felt At The Time”: Kim Clijsters
International Hall of Fame member continued, “My passion for tennis will never leave no matter what I do. I feel a very big need to give back to tennis because I’ve gotten so much out of it. So, yeah, that will be the next phase, to see where can I go?”
“It’s very intense. Once you’ve been competing for, like me, from when I was a little girl, I love getting that challenge, the pushing to prove something.”
“I cannot tell you the impact of Steffi and Monica and Arantxa when I came on tour. That world became my reality. They were kind, they would listen, they would give advice.”
Any regrets? “No,” Kim Clijsters replied. None. I’ve always made career decisions on how I felt at the time – not what was good for my career in the long run. I’m happy how everything worked out.”
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