Kim Clijsters lost on her recent return to the WTA Tour on Monday, losing a set of three to Hsieh Su-wei in the first round of the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic.
It was Clijsters’ first game since a first-round loss at the 2020 US Open a little over a year ago. That was part of a 0-3 record last season after the former No. 1 player made a comeback that was interrupted by knee surgery in October and contracted COVID-19 in January this year.
Clijsters, a mother of three who wakes up at 5 a.m. at her family’s home in New Jersey to exercise, received a wild card for the Chicago tournament. But she was eliminated by Hsieh, an Australian Open quarter-finalist who finished a 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win in 2 hours and 18 minutes.
“Some good things, some bad things and inconsistencies,” said 38-year-old Clijsters. âBut I think the most important thing for me is that I’ve talked to my coach and my coach, my fitness trainer, about being physically able to get through these games without much concern. That was the main goal.
“I was close today but I still feel good, you know I’ve made progress and I think that’s the most important thing.”
Clijsters made it to the final of the French Open in 2001 as a teenager, part of a 0-4 mark in Grand Slam title games before a triumph at the 2005 US Open. Then followed US Open titles in 2009 and 2010 and an Australian Open 2011 trophy.
“We all know she’s a very great, great, great player,” said Hsieh. âOutside the field, she’s very nice, very polite, very nice, that’s why I’ve always liked her very much. … I’m lucky I didn’t play it 10 years ago. “
Clijsters stays in Chicago to play doubles with Belgian compatriot Kirsten Flipkens. However, she is not sure about her plans for the rest of the season.
“I would love to play Indian Wells if I can, if my body holds up well,” she said. âSo everything is fine at the moment. So I’m looking forward to playing a lot of games, and I’m really looking forward to World Team Tennis too. I really felt a big improvement in that last year. “
Next up for Hsieh is number 6 seeded Ons Jabeur, who received a bye for the second round.
Danielle Collins, Jessica Pegula and Veronika Kudermetova also continued on Monday. The American Madison Keys was eliminated from her first round match against the Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich due to an injury to her right shoulder.