Hasselt, Belgium — At the end of the 2007 season, Clijsters might end her tennis career and exchange tennis for motherhood. The Belgian tennis star has plans to marry her American fiancée and basketball player Brian Lynch in the summer of 2007. Clijsters confirmed that 2007 is going to be her last year as a pro tennis player.
“I will certainly play at Wimbledon next year, and after that, we will see what happens,” Kim Clijsters said in an interview held on Belgian television.
Clijsters never made a secret of the fact that she is tired of living as a pro tennis player. The daily grind of playing, the travelling, the pressure to perform, and the string of injuries have been asking a lot from the 24-year-old. She is determined to fulfill her wishes to start a family and being a young mother.
Clijsters still found enough determination to work on her comeback and play the Gaz de France Stars in Hasselt, which is close to her home in Bree. She will also play at the season-ending championships in Madrid after Patty Schnyder did not succeed to reach the spot in the final in Linz last week. The Swiss lost the semifinal to Maria Sharapova in a close 7-5, 7-5 match. The Russian took the Generali Ladies Linz title, defeating her compatriot Nadia Petrova in the final.
“I am very excited to play the year-ending championships in Madrid, but maybe it's too soon to compete against the other players,” Clijsters said in Monday’s press conference. She is hoping she can use the Gaz de France Stars tournament as a warm up and getting back into the rhythm for Madrid.
“I play week by week, and each week I will see how things are going. You have to schedule your plans for the WTA twice a year, so I have made my plans until Wimbledon. After Wimbledon, I don’t know what tournaments I will be playing. I will be playing somewhere, but I have no schedule for that. It also depends on how we organize things for our marriage after Wimbledon.”
When asked about next season's plans she answered that she has only made a schedule for the first half of the season and also mentioned that she wanted to play her best in Australia and would try to peak on Wimbledon. Since she she doesn't like claycourts she will minimize participation on clay.
“I don’t have any expectations for next season. I didn't even know if I could get myself motivated to come back again after another wrist injury. I am not going to play many tournaments, and certainly not more than three in a row.
“Australia is important next year, and I will try to peak at Wimbledon as well. That means I will minimize the clay court tournaments. Clay courts always have been tough to play for me. I might play the Italian Open and Roland Garros and skip the rest of the clay courts.”
She recovered in her house of her injury. She also told the embarrassing story of her tripping over the dog.
“I am playing tennis for three weeks now, mostly in the swimming pool to reduce the resistance. I am feeling much better than I did with my wrist injury two years ago here in Hasselt. After the injury, I didn't do much. I was home. I spent time with my sister and my friend Caroline (Maes). Tripping over the dog was about the most exciting thing I did,” Clijsters said.
When she was asked what she would chose to be her last tournament that she would play, she answered it would be the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp.