Sofia Kenin and Kim Clijsters on the beach in Dubai
Sofia Kenin and Kim Clijsters on the beach in Dubai Image Credit: DDFTC

Kim Clijsters is set to kick-start her professional tennis comeback when she participates in the World Team Tennis (WTT) tournament starting Sunday.

Clijsters, the four-time Grand Slam singles champion who came out of retirement in February this year after a gap of eight years, will team up with Mardy Fish, Jack Sock, Sabine Lisicki, Neal Skupski and Kveta Peschke for New York Empire - one of nine teams in the competition.

WTT had earlier announced that every player will play the entire three-week regular season, which is currently scheduled to be played between July 12 to 30. The semifinals will be played on August 1, followed by the final on August 2.

“I have girlfriends now who at times struggle to find ‘me time’ and find their passion and find the time to live for their passion and still balance being a mum,” Clijsters said in April. “I know in four years I’m not going to be able to do this challenge. I know that if I want to be able to compete with these girls then I’m going to have to be the fittest that I’ve ever been and to be able to move like I did in the past. I think that’s going to be a lot tougher now than it was nine years or so ago.”

This is Clijsters’ third comeback to the sport after she first quit tennis in 2007 owing to a string of injuries. She returned to the sport after a gap of two years. In 2012, she announced her retirement for the second time after winning US Open 2010 and Australian Open 2011 titles.

Clijsters then returned to the court in February 2020 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where she lost to Garbine Muguruza in straight sets in opening round.