Comeback: Golovin in tennis comeback after 11-year absence

Tatiana Golovin Comeback in Tennis After Kim Clijsters Announces Shock Comeback

Tatiana Golovin Comeback in Tennis After Kim Clijsters Announces Shock Comeback

Kim Clijsters of Belgium hits a return to Laura Robson of Great Britain during their match on the third day of the 2012 US Open Tennis Championship at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, USA, 29 August 2012.

Is there a chance we'll get to see something like that again, now that Clijsters has announced her second comeback from retirement?

Wait a minute though.

The former No. 1 and four-time major champion, who is inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, announced on Thursday she is planning to return to the pro tour in 2020, although she's yet to announce the date of return. "For me, I still love to play tennis", she said.

"I wish Kim all the best in this next chapter of her playing career".

Nearly immediately after she first burst into relevance in the early 2000s, she was put in the shade by her seemingly tougher countrywoman Justine Henin.

The Belgian first won a Grand Slam in 2005 when she lifted the US Open by beating Mary Pierce in the final, overcoming Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova on the way.

Clijsters admitted there was a possibility she wouldn't be successful in returning to the game but the process, which began about two years ago with a thought of making a comeback, has been worth the effort. She, then, returned to tennis in 2009 and won three more grand slams before retiring again in 2012.

That said, Clijsters' second coming did have one important effect, aside from the objectively greater success it brought her, it helped shed the headcase tag for good. My two children are close in age to her two youngest (she has three). She argues that moms should "lean in" to their careers and shift from thinking "I'm not ready to do that" to thinking "I want to do that - and I'll learn by doing it".

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But how did Clijsters turn from a mental midget (relatively speaking) to a mental powerhouse in the space of two years? Whether in victory or defeat, through injuries and tragedy, life as a player, life as a child or life as a parent, the public Clijsters never lost sight of the big picture, never forgot that she was fortunate to earn a living as an athlete and that tennis's competitive pressures were indeed a privilege. In May 2007, she stepped away from the sport, marrying Brian Lynch and giving birth to her daughter Jada in 2008. The Belgian can get unlimited wildcards at WTA tournaments as she was a world number one.

"I will continue to push myself each goal I set".

Playing on the tour is of course a lot different from being the practice partner of a Slam participant, and Clijsters fully understands that it won't be easy.

The 31-year-old Golovin, a former world number 12 and a US Open quarter-finalist in 2006, was forced to retire aged 20 due to lower back inflammation. "This is my marathon".

Clijsters has started fitness training in earnest, and says that her strength and reaction time have already improved. Many have described her as the Coco Gauff of her generation.

Can Clijsters survive on today's cut-throat WTA tour with so many distractions around her? Can her body keep up with the demands of modern tennis, which has only got more physical with time? Not only did she return, but she was triumphant. And her fans couldn't be happier.

The women's game has been undergoing a revolution of sorts lately, with the variety on offer being at an all-time high. Slaughter wrote that "the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed". "I do feel that is something that affects me too". I've really enjoyed it.

"These last seven years I've been a full-time mum".

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