09/28/2021 at 7:03 AM CEST
. / Chicago
The Taiwanese Hsieh Su-wei became this Monday the executioner of the Belgian Kim clijsters, 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 a wild card for the Chicago tournament, but was eliminated by Hsieh, a fourth-runner-up at the Australian Open, who secured the 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 to be able to physically go through these games without great worries. That was the main objective.”
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 final of the French Open 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 from the US Open in 2009 and 2010 and an Australian Open trophy in 2011. “We all know she’s a great, great, great player,” Hsieh stated. “Off the court 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 is staying in Chicago to play doubles with fellow Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, but she’s 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.”
Next up for Su Hsieh will be sixth-seeded Tunisian Ons Jabeur, who received a free pass in the second round. Americans Danielle Collins, Jessica Pegula and 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.