Kim Antonie Lode Clijsters is a Belgian former professional tennis player.
174 Facts About Kim Clijsters
Kim Clijsters won six major titles, four in singles and two in doubles.
Kim Clijsters competed professionally from 1997 in an era in which her primary rivals were compatriot Justine Henin and Serena Williams.
Individually, Kim Clijsters won 41 singles titles and 11 doubles titles on the Women's Tennis Association Tour.
Kim Clijsters was a three-time winner of the WTA Tour Championships.
Kim Clijsters returned to the sport two years later and won her second US Open title as an unranked player in just her third tournament back.
Kim Clijsters defended her title the following year and then won the Australian Open in 2011 en route to becoming the first mother to be the world No 1.
Kim Clijsters was born to athletic parents with backgrounds in professional football and gymnastics.
Kim Clijsters was renowned for her athleticism, which was highlighted by her ability to perform splits on court in the middle of points.
Kim Clijsters built the offensive side of her game around controlled aggression while using her exceptional movement to become an elite defensive player.
Kim Clijsters was very popular and well-liked as a player, having won the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award eight times.
Kim Clijsters was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2017.
Kim Clijsters was born on 8 June 1983 in Bilzen, a small town in northeastern Belgium.
Kim Clijsters grew up with her younger sister Elke in the nearby town of Bree in the Flemish province of Limburg.
Kim Clijsters's mother Els was a Belgian national artistic gymnastics champion.
Kim Clijsters's father Lei was a professional football defender who played for a variety of clubs in the top-flight Belgian First Division, including KV Mechelen with whom he won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1988.
Kim Clijsters was a member of the Belgium national football team, tallying 40 caps and competing in two World Cups.
When Kim Clijsters was five years old, her father built a clay tennis court at their home as a gift to his daughter to celebrate him winning the 1988 Gouden Schoen, an award given to the player of the year in the Belgian First Division.
Kim Clijsters had previously announced the idea of the gift as a celebration of the award during a television interview.
Kim Clijsters began playing tennis earlier that year after attending a lesson with her cousins and her uncle while her parents were away.
Kim Clijsters began playing with her sister at the Tennisdel club in Genk by the time she was seven.
At the age of nine, Kim Clijsters began working with Benny Vanhoudt in the more distant town of Diest.
Kim Clijsters had success at both the national and international levels at a very young age.
At the time, Kim Clijsters was ten years old and Henin was eleven.
Kim Clijsters continued to play alongside Henin, winning the doubles event at the 14-and-under European Junior Championships as well as the 14-and-under European Junior Team Championships for Belgium, both in 1996 and the latter of which with Leslie Butkiewicz.
Kim Clijsters defeated future top 25 players Iveta Benesova and Elena Bovina in the semifinals and final respectively.
Kim Clijsters played two full seasons on the ITF Junior Circuit, the premier junior tour that is run by the International Tennis Federation.
In 1998, Kim Clijsters had her best year on the junior tour, finishing the season at career-high rankings of world No 11 in singles and world No 4 in doubles.
Kim Clijsters won two junior Grand Slam doubles titles, the French Open with Jelena Dokic and the US Open with Eva Dyrberg.
Kim Clijsters defeated her French Open partner Dokic in the US Open doubles final.
Kim Clijsters won seven matches in total, including five in qualifying, to reach the quarterfinals.
Kim Clijsters did not enter another professional tournament until after her runner-up finish at the Wimbledon girls' singles event the following summer.
Kim Clijsters continued to excel at the ITF level, winning four more titles within the next year, two in both singles and doubles.
Kim Clijsters began 1999 with a WTA singles ranking of No 420 in the world.
Kim Clijsters won her first career tour-level match against Miho Saeki and advanced to the quarterfinals, where she was defeated by top seed Sarah Pitkowski despite holding match points.
One week after Kim Clijsters turned sixteen, she entered Wimbledon as the youngest player in the top 200.
Kim Clijsters defeated world No 10 Amanda Coetzer in the third round and did not drop a set until losing to Steffi Graf one round later, her only career match against her childhood idol.
Kim Clijsters had a good showing at the US Open, losing to the eventual champion Serena Williams in the third round after squandering a chance to serve for the match.
Kim Clijsters next played at the Luxembourg Open held in the town of Kockelscheuer just outside the capital.
Kim Clijsters won the title with relative ease in just her fourth career WTA event, taking affinity for the friendly atmosphere of the smaller tournament and the faster carpet courts.
Kim Clijsters made the singles final in Bratislava at her next tournament, finishing runner-up to No 11 Amelie Mauresmo.
Kim Clijsters was unable to repeat her success at the Grand Slam tournaments in 2000, not advancing past the second round at any of the singles events.
At the Indian Wells Open in early 2001, Kim Clijsters finally defeated Hingis in her fourth meeting against the world No 1 player to reach her first Tier I final.
Kim Clijsters would go on to make it to at least the quarterfinals at each of the next three majors.
Kim Clijsters played in her first Grand Slam doubles final at Wimbledon later that year, with Ai Sugiyama as her partner.
Kim Clijsters won three singles titles in 2001, including her second titles at both the Luxembourg Open and the Sparkassen Cup, to help her finish the season at No 5 in the world.
Kim Clijsters maintained her top ten ranking throughout 2002 despite struggling with an ongoing shoulder injury in the first half of the year.
Kim Clijsters received her third invite to the event, which only the top 16 players in the world are guaranteed entry.
Kim Clijsters made it to the final with ease after dropping only six games in the first three rounds, including a victory over Henin in the quarterfinals and a retirement due to injury from Venus Williams in the semifinals.
Kim Clijsters competed in 21 singles events, reaching the semifinals in all but one of them, advancing to 15 finals, and winning nine titles.
Kim Clijsters played an extensive doubles schedule, compiling a total of 170 matches between both disciplines.
Kim Clijsters partnered with Sugiyama the entire year, winning seven titles in thirteen events.
Kim Clijsters began her singles season by winning the Sydney International over Lindsay Davenport, her third consecutive title.
Kim Clijsters was the first woman to become No 1 without winning a Grand Slam singles title.
Kim Clijsters regained the top ranking in doubles the following week to become only the fifth player in WTA history to be No 1 in singles and doubles simultaneously.
Kim Clijsters had been regarded as the favourite entering the match because of her performance in the earlier rounds and Henin's lengthy semifinal match the previous day.
The last stage of the season featured Kim Clijsters battling Henin for the top ranking.
Kim Clijsters defeated Henin in the final of the Tennis Grand Prix in Filderstadt to defend her title and her world No 1 ranking.
Kim Clijsters finished her season by defending her title at the WTA Tour Championships in the first year where the tournament switched to a round robin format in the initial stage.
Kim Clijsters swept her group of Mauresmo, Elena Dementieva, and Chanda Rubin.
Kim Clijsters won her semifinal against Capriati before defeating Mauresmo again for the title.
Kim Clijsters held the top ranking for four non-consecutive weeks.
Kim Clijsters said afterwards, "I'm just as disappointed as after the last two grand slam [finals], but I played a lot better this time".
Kim Clijsters returned to the WTA Tour six weeks later with a wrist brace, but again withdrew after one match.
Kim Clijsters defeated world No 1 Lindsay Davenport in the final of Indian Wells, as well as No 2 Amelie Mauresmo and No 3 Maria Sharapova in her last two matches in Miami.
Kim Clijsters was unable to continue her success into the clay or grass court seasons, winning just one title and losing in the fourth round in three sets to Davenport at both the French Open and Wimbledon.
Kim Clijsters built up a 22-match win streak and defeated Henin in the final of the Tier I Canadian Open in their only meeting of the year.
Kim Clijsters rebounded to win the match in three sets and then defeated the top seed and world No 2 Sharapova in the semifinals, in three sets.
Kim Clijsters finished the year ranked No 2, having won a tour-best nine titles and all of her finals.
Kim Clijsters was named both the WTA Player of the Year and the WTA Comeback Player of the Year.
Kim Clijsters only played in 14 tournaments, missing the US Open as well as the Fed Cup final.
Kim Clijsters withdrew from her first tournament of the year, the Sydney International with hip and back problems.
Nonetheless, with Davenport losing in the quarterfinals, Kim Clijsters regained the No 1 ranking.
Kim Clijsters returned for the Diamond Games where she finished runner-up to Mauresmo, but needed to withdraw from the Indian Wells Open because of the same ankle injury.
Kim Clijsters defeated Clijsters in the semifinals of three consecutive events, including the French Open and Wimbledon.
Kim Clijsters made her return at the Hasselt Cup and won her second consecutive title at the event.
Kim Clijsters entered the WTA Tour Championships ranked No 5 in the world, where all three other players she was grouped with were Russian.
Kim Clijsters's season ended in the semifinals, where she lost to world No 1 Mauresmo.
Kim Clijsters entered 2007 intending to retire at the end of the season, but only ended up playing in five tournaments due to injuries.
Kim Clijsters won her only title of the year in her first tournament, the Sydney International.
Kim Clijsters gave birth to a daughter in early 2008, less than two months after her father Leo Clijsters was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Kim Clijsters requested and received wild cards for the Cincinnati Open, the Canadian Open, and the US Open.
Kim Clijsters recorded another top ten victory in Canada over No 9 Victoria Azarenka.
Kim Clijsters was still unranked entering the US Open, as players needed three tour events to have a ranking at the time.
Kim Clijsters then defeated No 8 Caroline Wozniacki to win her second US Open championship.
Kim Clijsters became the first unseeded woman to win the title at the event, and the first mother to win a Grand Slam singles title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980.
Kim Clijsters planned a limited schedule for 2010 to keep her focus on her family and ended up playing just eleven tournaments.
Kim Clijsters entered the Australian Open as one of the favourites, but was upset by No 19 Nadia Petrova in the third round, only winning one game in that loss.
Kim Clijsters only conceded three games in the final against Venus Williams.
Nonetheless, Kim Clijsters recovered to defend her title at the US Open.
Kim Clijsters won the final over Zvonareva with ease in less than an hour.
Kim Clijsters finished the season at No 3 and was named WTA Player of the Year for the second time.
Kim Clijsters began the season at the Sydney International, where she finished runner-up to Li Na in straight sets despite winning the first five games of the match.
Kim Clijsters made one last final at her next WTA event, the Paris Open, where she was defeated by Petra Kvitova.
Nonetheless, this result helped Kim Clijsters regain the world No 1 ranking before Caroline Wozniacki took it back one week later.
Kim Clijsters needed to retire from a fourth round match at the Indian Wells Open due to a shoulder injury.
Kim Clijsters returned for the Canadian Open, where she suffered an abdominal injury that kept her out the remainder of the season.
Kim Clijsters was unable to stay healthy in her last year on the WTA Tour.
Kim Clijsters lost at Wimbledon in the fourth round to No 8 Angelique Kerber, only winning two games.
Kim Clijsters entered the US Open having not lost a match there since the 2003 final.
Kim Clijsters recorded her last WTA singles match win against Victoria Duval in the first round before falling to Laura Robson in her next match.
Kim Clijsters's career ended with a second round mixed doubles loss alongside Bob Bryan to the eventual champions Ekaterina Makarova and Bruno Soares, at which point she officially retired.
Kim Clijsters lost to Australian Open runner-up Garbine Muguruza in the opening round.
Kim Clijsters next entered the Monterrey Open as a wildcard losing in the first round to Johanna Konta in two sets.
Kim Clijsters received wildcards at the inaugural Top Seed Open in singles and doubles alongside Sabine Lisicki.
Kim Clijsters next played the US Open on a main draw wildcard losing in the first round to Ekaterina Alexandrova in three sets.
Kim Clijsters underwent knee surgery in October and did not play another tournament in 2020.
Kim Clijsters pulled out of the 2021 Miami Open, saying she did not feel ready to compete after her surgery and contracting COVID-19 in January.
Kim Clijsters played her first tournament of the year at the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic, having accepted a wildcard, but lost in the first round to Hsieh Su-Wei in three sets.
Kim Clijsters entered the doubles draw too, the partner was Kirsten Flipkens, but they lost in the first round.
Kim Clijsters then participated in postponed Indian Wells Masters, drew Katerina Siniakova and lost in three sets in the first round.
Kim Clijsters played a number of matches for World TeamTennis in 2021, aligned with the New York Empire.
On 12 April 2022, Kim Clijsters announced that she was ending her comeback and again retiring from tennis, citing a desire to focus more on family life.
Kim Clijsters made her Fed Cup debut for Belgium in 2000 at the age of 16.
Kim Clijsters only played singles, while Els Callens and Laurence Courtois played all three doubles matches.
Kim Clijsters won the second set, but ultimately lost the match.
However, Kim Clijsters was forced to miss the Fed Cup final due to a wrist injury.
Kim Clijsters missed the ties in which Belgium was eliminated in both instances.
Kim Clijsters participated in the Hopman Cup from 2001 to 2004, partnering with Olivier Rochus in the first instance and Xavier Malisse thereafter.
Kim Clijsters did not compete at the Olympics until 2012 near the end of her career.
Kim Clijsters had been ranked inside the top 40 in the months leading up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics in September, high enough to qualify.
Kim Clijsters faced No 3 Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals, losing in straight sets one match before the medal rounds.
Additionally, Kim Clijsters's father seemed to allege that Henin was taking performance-enhancing drugs.
The latest stage win Kim Clijsters had at a major was in the semifinals of the 2001 French Open.
Kim Clijsters defeated Henin en route to her first WTA Tour Championship in 2002.
However, Kim Clijsters won all three of their meetings during their comebacks to win the series.
Kim Clijsters won all four of their three-set encounters, including their 1999 US Open third round match and their 2003 Australian Open semifinal where Clijsters had the opportunity to serve for both matches.
Kim Clijsters defeated Venus in both of those tournaments, making her the only player to record wins over both Williams sisters at the same event twice.
Kim Clijsters won six of their first eight meetings, including two in the late stages of Grand Slam tournaments in the quarterfinals of the 2001 US Open and the semifinals of 2003 Wimbledon.
Additionally, one of Kim Clijsters's first two wins against Venus was a retirement due to injury at the 2002 WTA Tour Championships.
Nonetheless, Kim Clijsters rebounded to win their last five meetings and end her career leading in their head-to-head record.
Davenport had won six of their first seven meetings before Kim Clijsters won eight of their next nine encounters, including all five in 2003.
Kim Clijsters defeated Davenport in all four of their meetings in finals, including two at the Indian Wells Open.
Unlike against Davenport, Kim Clijsters initially dominated her rivalry with Mauresmo, winning eight of their first ten matches before Mauresmo took the last five.
Kim Clijsters participated in World Team Tennis the following year as a member of the New York Sportimes.
Ten years after the roof test on Centre Court that inspired her comeback, Kim Clijsters returned to Wimbledon to participate in an exhibition series to test the new roof on Court No 1 in which she played a set of singles against Venus Williams as well as a set of mixed doubles.
Kim Clijsters continued to play at the event after retiring.
In 2015, the Diamond Games were revived as a WTA event with Kim Clijsters serving as the tournament director.
Kim Clijsters played an exhibition set with finalist Andrea Petkovic after her opponent withdrew before the start of the championship match due to injury.
Since her retirement in 2012, Kim Clijsters has regularly played in the legends, champions, and invitation doubles events at all four Grand Slam tournaments.
One of her matches in the 2017 Wimbledon ladies' invitation doubles event drew public interest for Kim Clijsters inviting a male spectator onto the court to play a few points.
The spectator, Chris Quinn, had suggested Kim Clijsters try a body serve when she had asked the crowd whether she should serve left or right.
Kim Clijsters has been ranked as the 14th-greatest women's tennis player in the Open Era by Tennis.
Kim Clijsters was a champion at all four Grand Slam tournaments, winning the French Open and Wimbledon in doubles and the US Open and Australian Open in singles.
Kim Clijsters became the first Belgian to be ranked No 1 in each of singles and doubles.
Kim Clijsters was one of the most popular and well-liked players in tennis among both fans and her fellow players.
Kim Clijsters won the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award a record eight times.
I'm proud that I won tournaments and everything, but I want players to think that Kim Clijsters was a nice person.
Kim Clijsters is one of three mothers to win a Grand Slam singles title, and her three such titles are tied with Margaret Court for the most of all-time.
Additionally, Kim Clijsters is the only mother to be ranked No 1 in the world since the start of the WTA rankings in 1975.
Kim Clijsters appeared on the Time 100 list in 2011 as one of the most influential people in the world in large part because of her successful comeback.
Kim Clijsters is an all-court player who employed a mixture of offensive and defensive styles of play.
When hitting a squash shot on the run, Kim Clijsters is known for her trademark play of sliding towards the ball and finishing in a split to extend her reach.
The strengths of Kim Clijsters's game are built around playing aggressively to generate offense without losing control.
Kim Clijsters excels at hitting both forehand and backhand winners from the baseline.
Kim Clijsters was aggressive in the middle of points as well.
Kim Clijsters is adept at hitting swinging volleys on both the forehand and backhand sides because of her solid groundstroke technique.
Kim Clijsters began her professional career with Carl Maes as her coach.
Maes was a student of Benny Vanhoudt who led the Saturday training sessions while Kim Clijsters was working with Vanhoudt in Diest.
Kim Clijsters moved to the Flemish Tennis Association Centre in Wilrijk when Clijsters was 13 years old and invited her to join him.
Under De Hous, Kim Clijsters won two WTA Tour Championships and two Grand Slam doubles titles.
Kim Clijsters opted to play without a coach from then until her first retirement.
When Kim Clijsters began her comeback in 2009, she hired Wim Fissette to be her coach.
Kim Clijsters had served as her hitting partner from 2005 until her first retirement.
In 2020, coinciding with her second comeback, Kim Clijsters announced her new coach as Fred Hemmes Jr.
Kim Clijsters had previously worn Nike apparel, but was not under contract.
Kim Clijsters had endorsement deals with Belgian telecommunications company Telenet, personnel services firm Adecco, and the travel services company Thomas Cook Group.
Kim Clijsters is married to Brian Lynch, an American basketball coach and former player.
Kim Clijsters's sister Elke, who is younger by a year and a half, was a promising tennis player.
Kim Clijsters was the ITF World Junior Doubles Champion in 2002.
When Clijsters won the 2011 Australian Open, she believed she earned her nickname, saying, "Now you can finally call me Aussie Kim".
Kim Clijsters looked up to Monica Seles and viewed both Graf and Seles as role models, drawing inspiration from their level of focus.
Kim Clijsters has served as an ambassador for SOS Children's Villages in Belgium since 2010.
Kim Clijsters occasionally was a commentator at the Grand Slam tournaments, working for the BBC and Fox Sports Australia at Wimbledon and for Channel 7 at the Australian Open.