Hsieh thwarts Kim Clijsters’ return to Chicago

Kim Clijsters returns a ball during her match against Garbiñe Muguruza in the 2020 WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship at Dubai Tennis Stadium.

Taiwanese Hsieh Su-wei became the executioner of Belgian Kim Clijsters on Monday who lost in three sets in the first round of the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic in what was her last attempt to successfully return to the professional WTA circuit.

It was Clijsters’ first game since a first-round loss at the 2020 U.S. Open. just over a year ago.

That was part of a 0-3 record last season after the former world’s No. 1 player returned, but suffered a knee injury. That forced him to go under the knife and then, last January, he caught Covid-19.

Clijsters, a mother of three who wakes up at 5 a.m. at her family’s home in New Jersey to train, received an invitation to the Chicago tournament.

But she was eliminated by Hsieh, a fourth runner-up at the Australian Open, who secured victory with a final score of 6-3, 5-7 and 6-3 in 2 hours and 18 minutes.

“Some good things, some bad and inconsistency,” said Clijsters, 38. “But I think the most important thing for me is that, what I talked about with my coach and my physical trainer, was being able to physically pass these games without great worries. That was the main goal. “

Clijsters acknowledged that also was close to achieving victory.

“I was close today, but I still have a good feeling, you know I’ve progressed and I think that’s the most important thing. “

Clijsters reached the French Open final as a teenager in 2001, part of a 0-4 record in Grand Slam title matches. before a win at the 2005 US Open.

Then came the titles of AOpen from the United States in 2009 and 2010 and an Australian Open trophy in 2011.

“We all know she’s a great, great, great player,” Hsieh declared. “Off the pitch she is very nice, very polite, very kind, so I have always liked her very much. … I’m lucky I didn’t cross paths with her 10 years ago. “

Clijsters stays in Chicago to play doubles with fellow Belgian Kirsten Flipkens. But she is unsure of her plans for the rest of the season.

“I would like to play in Indian Wells if I can, if the body is well maintained,” he said. “So for the moment, everything is fine. So I’m excited to try to play a lot of matches and I’m also looking forward to World Team Tennis. That’s where I really felt a big improvement last year. “

The next rival for Su Hsieh will be Tunisian Ons Jabeur, sixth-seeded, who received a free pass in the second round.

The americans Danielle Collins and Jessica Pegula and Russian Veronika Kudermetova also advanced on Monday.

Also local Madison Keys withdrew from her first round match against Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich, due to a right shoulder injury.

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