Opinion: Don’t bet against Kim Clijsters in her tennis comeback at age 36

CLOSEPost to Facebook


A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

  • Sept. 8: Actress Uma Thurman watches the men's final with her son, Levon.1 of 71
  • Sept. 8: Skier Lindsey Vonn and New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban watch the men's final.2 of 71
  • Sept. 8: Actor Michael Douglas and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones watch as Rafael Nadal plays Daniil Medvedev during the men's final.3 of 71
  • Sept. 8: Actress Jennifer Connelly and her husband, actor Paul Bettany, attend the men's final.4 of 71
  • Sept. 8: Daria Medvedev watches her husband, Daniil Medvedev, as he takes on Rafael Nadal.5 of 71
  • Sept. 8: Xisca Perello watches her fiance Rafael Nadal play against Daniil Medvedev.6 of 71
  • Sept. 8: Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former President George W. Bush, takes in the men's final.7 of 71
  • Sept. 8: Tennis champion Virginia Wade watches the men's final.8 of 71
  • Sept. 8: Music producer Bob Sinclar watches the men's final.9 of 71
  • Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, greets Alexis Ohanian as she arrives in Serena Williams' box at the US Open.10 of 71
  • Sept. 7: Spike Lee watch the U.S. Open women's final.11 of 71
  • Sept. 7: Dr. Mehmet Oz watches the women's final.12 of 71
  • Sept.. 6: Musicians Nick Jonas (left) and Joe Jonas watch the Rafael Nadal-Matteo Berrettini men's semifinal.13 of 71
  • Sept. 6: Former news anchor Tom Brokaw watches the men's semifinal.14 of 71
  • British actress Emily Mortimer, right, and husband and U.S. actor Alessandro Nivola watch the night semifinal.15 of 71
  • Sept. 6: Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand and his wife Katrina watch in the stands during the match between Rafael Nadal and Matteo Berrettini.16 of 71
  • Sept. 6: Retired U.S. Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn watches as Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria plays Daniil Medvedev of Russia.17 of 71
  • Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Dana Blumberg arrive for the men's semifinals.18 of 71
  • Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg watches the men's semifinal match between Daniil Medvedev and Grigor Dimitrov.19 of 71
  • Sept. 6: Australian tennis legend Rod Laver holds the U.S. Open men's singles trophy in the stands.20 of 71
  • Sept. 5: Spike Lee applauds Serena Williams during her semifinal match against Elina Svitolina.21 of 71
  • Sept. 5: Actors Jason Biggs, left, and Justin Bartha attend Day 11matches.22 of 71
  • Sept. 5: Actress Audra McDonald attends the semifinals.23 of 71
  • Sept. 5: Fashion designer Vera Wang arrives for the semifinals of the U.S. Open.24 of 71
  • Sept. 5: Talk-show host Andy Cohen attends the semifinal between Serena Williams and Elina Svitolina.25 of 71
  • Sept. 5: Queen Latifah attends the Serena Williams-Elina Svitolina semifinal.26 of 71
  • Sept. 4: NHL legend Wayne Gretzky attends men's and women's quarterfinal matches at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.27 of 71
  • Sept. 4: Retired NFL wide receiver Victor Cruz attends men's and women's quarterfinal matches during the night session.28 of 71
  • Sept. 4: Soccer player Gerard Pique, left, and singer Shakira attend the quarterfinals.29 of 71
  • Sept. 4: British actress and screenwriter Emily Mortimer arrives at The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.30 of 71
  • Sept. 4: New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley attends men's and women's quarterfinal matches during the night session.31 of 71
  • Sept. 4: Tennis legend Billie Jean King on the grounds of the complex that is named in her honor -- The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.32 of 71
  • Sept. 4: Actor and singer Ben Vereen attends the quarterfinals.33 of 71
  • Sept. 3: Queen Latifah, center, gestures after a quarterfinal match between Serena Williams and Qiang Wang of China.34 of 71
  • Sept. 3: Indian actress Priyanka Chopra cheers as Serena Williams plays Qiang Wang of China in the quarterfinals.35 of 71
  • Sept. 3: Tiger Woods returned to Arthur Ashe Stadium for the second consecutive day, taking in night session matches featuring Serena Williams and Roger Federer.36 of 71
  • Sept. 3:  Singer/actress Vanessa Williams, right, watches night session matches featuring Serena Williams and Roger Federer.37 of 71
  • Sept. 3: Amy Schumer attends night session matches featuring Serena Williams and Roger Federer.38 of 71
  • Sept. 3: Katie Couric, left, and John Molner attend the night session matches featuring Serena Williams and Roger Federer.39 of 71
  • Sept. 3: Retired tennis player Boris Becker, a six-time major champion, watches Roger Federer play Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals.40 of 71
  • Sept. 3: Martha Stewart enjoys the Mercedes-Benz VIP Suite at Arthur Ashe Stadium during night session matches featuring Serena Williams and Roger Federer.41 of 71
  • Sept. 3: American figure skaters Alex and Maia Shibutani take in matches during the night session featuring Serena Williams and Roger Federer.42 of 71
  • Sept. 3: Actor Justin Theroux, left, and hairdresser, podcaster, and television personality Jonathan Van Ness enjoy The Mercedes-Benz VIP Suite at Arthur Ashe Stadium.43 of 71
  • Sept. 3: Actor Penn Badgley attends quarterfinal matches featuring Serena Williams and Roger Federer.44 of 71
  • Sept. 3: Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Venus Williams watch the quarterfinal match between Serena Williams and Qiang Wang of China.45 of 71
  • Sept. 3: Tennis legend Rod Laver attends the men's quarterfinal match between Roger Federer of Switzerland and Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.46 of 71
  • Sept. 3: British actress and radio presenter Jameela Jamil enjoys the Mercedes-Benz VIP Suite at Arthur Ashe Stadium during night session matches featuring Serena Williams and Roger Federer.47 of 71
  • Sept. 3: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, left, watches night session matches featuring Serena Williams and Roger Federer.48 of 71
  • Sept. 3: Fashion designer Vera Wang applauds during the quarterfinal match between Serena Williams and Qiang Wang.49 of 71
  • Sept. 3: Record executive Clive Davis attends quarterfinal matches featuring Serena Williams and Roger Federer.50 of 71
  • Sept. 2: Tiger Woods watches the match between Rafael Nadal and Marin Cilic.51 of 71
  • Sept. 2: Alec Baldwin attends the match between Rafael Nadal and Marin Cilic.52 of 71
  • Sept. 2: Japanese tennis great Toshiro Sakai (center) applauds as he watches Naomi Osaka of Japan play Belinda Bencic of Switzerland,53 of 71
  • Sept. 1: Actress Anna Kendrick, right, takes a photo with a friend as they watch Serena Williams' Round of 16 match.54 of 71
  • Sept 1: Serena Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian, far left, waits for a match to begin with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, far right.55 of 71
  • Aug. 31: (From left to right) New York Yankees players Aaron Hicks, Cameron Maybin, C.C Sabathia and Giancarlo Stanton watch No. 1 Naomi Osaka of American teen sensation Coco Gauff battle in the third round.56 of 71
  • Aug. 30: Former NBA player Kobe Bryant, right, watches the coin toss as Roger Federer gets ready to play against Daniel Evans of Great Britain.57 of 71
  • Aug. 30: Actress Rebel Wilson attends the third round.58 of 71
  • Aug. 30: Actress Anna Wintour attends the third round.59 of 71
  • Aug. 29: Former NBA player Kobe Bryant watches a second-round match between Naomi Osaka and Magda Linette.60 of 71
  • Aug 29: Colin Kaepernick applauds Naomi Osaka during her second-round match against Magda Linette.61 of 71
  • Aug. 28: Actor Ben Stiller, right, watches as John Isner plays Jan-Lennard Struff.62 of 71
  • Aug. 28.: Queen Latifah, right, attends the night session featuring matches with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and former No. 1 Serena Williams.63 of 71
  • Aug. 28: Model Gigi Hadid applauds during match between Serena Williams and Catherine McNally.64 of 71
  • Aug. 26: Actor Alec Baldwin and wife Hilaria watch Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova in the first round.65 of 71
  • Aug. 26: Boxer Mike Tyson attends the Serena Williams-Maria Sharapova match with his wife, Lakiha Spicer.66 of 71
  • Aug. 26: Journalist Katie Couric and husband John Molner attend the first- round match between Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.67 of 71
  • Aug. 26: Actor/playwright Chazz Palminteri attends the Serena Williams-Maria Sharapova match.68 of 71
  • Aug. 26: Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber, right, watches Serena Williams play Maria Sharapova.69 of 71
  • Aug. 26: Former tennis player Rod Laver attends the Maria Sharapova-Serena Williams match.70 of 71
  • Aug. 26: Model Kathy Ireland watches as Maria Sharapova plays Serena Williams.71 of 71

The idea sounds ludicrous at first. Kim Clijsters trying to make a comeback after seven years away from tennis, at the age of 36.

When you think about it, though, why not? And, more accurately, who better?

At one point, 36 was considered ancient for a tennis player. Particularly a female tennis player. But we are not even a week removed from Serena Williams playing for the U.S. Open title at 37, the fourth time in the last six Grand Slams that she’s reached the final.

Williams didn’t win the U.S. Open, just as she came up short in the other three finals. But that’s looking more and more like a mental block than a reflection of her ability to compete with a younger set that is playing bigger, faster and bolder than ever.

There’s no reason it can’t be the same for Clijsters, who announced Thursday that she will return to the WTA in 2020.

The four-time major winner’s strength was always in her ability to make matches come to her. She was never the biggest hitter, but her flexibility and quickness – both in speed and reactions – more than made up for it.

“There are times during the U.S. Open when I see some of the tennis I think, ‘No way, that’s not where I’m going to be able to get to’ because it just looks like they’re hitting the ball so much harder,” Clijsters said in an interview with the WTA Insider Podcast.

“But I’ve always had that in me. I always saw everybody as, ‘Oh my God, they move so well’ or they hit the ball so hard or they have so much variety in their game,” she said. “And then when I stood across from them I felt OK. It actually doesn’t feel as hard, the ball doesn’t feel as powerful as when I saw it on TV or something.” 

Besides, Clijsters knows how to make a comeback.

Two years after winning her first major, the 2005 U.S. Open, Clijsters retired to start a family. But after having daughter Jada in February 2008, she was back on the tour 18 months later.

Three tournaments into her comeback, she won the 2009 U.S. Open, beating Williams, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki in the process.

Clijsters would win two more majors and reclaim the No. 1 ranking before retiring again in 2012.  

“Over the years I sometimes played with the idea (of coming back) but then I was like, `No, this is impossible,’” said Clijsters, who also has two sons, now 5 and 2.

That’s the true beauty of sport, though. We play sports to push ourselves. We watch sports to see limits tested and boundaries broken. Nothing is more compelling than seeing something once considered impossible brought within reach.

Maybe Clijsters won’t succeed in the conventional sense. Maybe she won’t win another major or make it back to the top five. Maybe she won’t even win a match in a Grand Slam.

But she’s testing herself and, in the process, giving all of us a glimpse at what’s possible if we’re only bold enough to try.

Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour

Article source:


Best Wordpress Plugin development company in India     Best Web development company in India

Related posts

Van Uytvanck beats Flipkens at Japan Women's Open

Times of News

Organizers postpone Hong Kong WTA event due to protests

Times of News

Brazilian player gets life ban from tennis for match-fixing

Times of News