Kim Clijsters of Belgium was supposed to quit after the tournament in Stuttgart, taking place in October, but she changed her mind and retired May 6, 2007. Even though still in the top 5, she decided to retire after losing to qualifier Julia Vakulenko in Warsaw, and failing to defend her title.
Former world No. 1 in both singles and doubles had too many injuries in her career, so she decided to leave tennis at the young age of 23. “It’s tiring to get out of bed and to use an hour just to warm up stiff muscles in the morning,” she wrote in her online diary. “The constant injuries and continual rehabilitation … it makes it all even more difficult to go on.” All those injuries lead to tiredness and lack of motivation. In addition, she’s had enough of packing and unpacking, enough of jet lag and gossip in newspapers.
“It is time for a new life,” she said. “Time for marriage. Time for children? Time also to relax and to play with my dogs. And especially to spend a lot of time with my family and friends.”
The first Belgian player to be ranked No.1 in the world won 34 career singles titles and 11 doubles titles. She has one Grand Slam title, having won the 2005 U.S. Open.
Kim Clijsters will stay in our minds as not only a great player, but also a great person.