Clijsters’ Aus Open return dreams dashed
THE Australian Open has been robbed of one of its major drawcards after injury ended Kim Clijsters' hopes of returning to Melbourne Park in January.
Clijsters, 36, had planned to contest the Open as part of her second career comeback but a potentially serious knee injury has terminated her dreams.
"I've had to make the decision that I will not be able to compete in January," the four-time major champion and former world No.1 tweeted.
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"I am undergoing rehab and treatment for a knee injury. It's a setback but I'm determined as ever to get back to the game I love. I really appreciate all your support and encouragement."
Clijsters retired for the second time after the 2012 US Open at only 29 years of age.
The Belgian revealed plans for return to competition mid-year in the hope of adding to her four majors - 2005, 2009-10 US Opens and the 2011 Australian Open.
"While there is a lot of work ahead of me in the next four months, my biggest motivation is the personal challenge involved, both physically and mentally," Clijsters said at the time.
"I want to test myself again.
"At 36 years old I feel like I'm too young to be retired and, with so many inspirational athletes and mums competing, I can't wait to get back on the match court and see what's possible after having three children."
Open officials hoped Clijsters would join fellow former world No.1 and mother Serena Williams in the January 20-February 2 grand slam.
But the right-hander's manager Bob Laes indicated Clijsters might have suffered a medial ligament tear.
Clijsters first competed on the WTA circuit in 1999 before retiring in 2007 to start a family.
She returned after the birth of her daughter Jada in 2008 before retiring again in 2012.
The baseliner subsequently gave birth to sons Jack and Blake.
Hopes of a third career chapter now rest on medical advice.