Kim Clijsters is known as the “Comeback Queen of Tennis” and this year this nickname produced three awards relating to 2009. She won the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award, WTA Comeback Player of the Year Award, Best Comeback Athlete ESPY Award. She also won the Karen Krantzcke Award.
|Height:||5 ft 8 1/2 in|
|Turned Pro:||17 August 1997|
Born on June 8th, 1983 in Blitzen, the Flemish region of Belgium she won 39 WTA singles titles and 11 WTA doubles titles as well as 3 Grand Slam singles titles at the US Open in 2005, 2009, and 2010, the French Open, and the Wimbledon Championships in 2003.
Plagued by injury throughout her career she announced her retirement on 6th May 2007 but two years later she was invited to play with Tim Henman against Steffi Graf and her husband Andre Agassi in an exhibition match on Wimbledon’s Centre Court to mark the new roof. She and Henman won the match and she also won a one-set match against Graf. Inspired by her preparation for Wimbledon she announced she would be returning to professional tennis.
For four years Klijsters was one half of tennis’s golden couple when she started a relationship with Australian player Lleyton Hewitt after they met at the 2000 Australian Open. Just before Christmas in 2003 they announced their engagement following a romantic boat trip around Sydney Harbour and a wedding was planned for February 2005.
The tennis world reeled with a shock when the couple announced in October 2004 that their engagement was off and the wedding was canceled. Hewitt had been holidaying in the Northern Territory of Australia when Klijsters rang him to break off the engagement. When the news broke it started a media frenzy and journalists camped outside Klijsters’ house. Hewitt had to escape to Paris because of the press intrusion into his private life.
Neither player would talk about the break-up but rumors were circulating that it was the couple’s two mothers who had caused the rift because they could not agree about the venue for the wedding. In the end, they reached a compromise, the wedding would take place in Hewitt’s home town of Adelaide and there would be a celebration in a Belgian Castle for friends and family of the bride.
It took Clijsters time to recover from the broken engagement but shortly afterward Hewitt married “Home and Away” actress Bec Cartwright after going out with her for six weeks. Clijsters is now married to former basketball player Brian Lynch and they have a daughter Jada Ellie.
It was Lynch who schemed to meet the tennis star after he joined the professional team Euphony Bree in Klijsters’ home town, He heard she lived there and found out from her mother after one of his games that they both owned bulldogs, so he arranged they should walk their dogs together. They started dating seriously after she invited him to the French Open and the couple announced their engagement in 2006.
After all the media hype over her break-up with Hewitt they were married secretly on July 13th, 2007 at 6 am at Bree City Hall by the Mayor. Her sister, Lynch’s brother, and both sets of parents were present. Their daughter was born on February 25th, 2008 and now goes on the tour with her. Lynch has retired from basketball to travel with his wife and daughter.
Since 2005 Kim has acted as Godmother to the Buba & Batman Project which was set up by Flemish Hetty Schiltmans to help out street children and orphans in southeast India. Klijsters has contributed financially to the construction of a new orphanage which is now fully functional and operating very efficiently. The project also provides support for local education, medical help, and local commerce.