Clijsters' comeback gathers steam at World Team Tennis

  • Matt Trollope

Kim Clijsters is showing increasingly impressive signs during her comeback thanks to several wins over impressive opposition in World Team Tennis.

In the past week, 37-year-old has notched victories over reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, AO 2019 semifinalist Danielle Collins and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Her most recent win came on Saturday, 5-1 against Olga Govortsova.

Despite the shortened first-to-five-game set format of WTT, Clijsters’ form has nonetheless attracted attention, and the praise of her New York Empire teammates.

Kim Clijsters supports her New York Empire teammates during the 2020 World Team Tennis season.

“(I think my level raises) especially when you’re following up Kim Clijsters, the way she’s playing right now,” said Jack Sock

“I think I definitely have to do my part as well and try to back up her amazing play this week.”

Clijsters, a four-time Grand Slam champion and former world No.1, made her second comeback to professional tennis earlier this season.

She fell to Garbine Muguruza in the first round in Dubai, and Johanna Konta in her opening match at Monterrey.

Meanwhile, Kenin, playing for the Philadelphia Freedoms, responded strongly to the Clijsters loss.

She routed Bernarda Pera 5-0 in her next singles outing and then beat Venus Williams 5-1 on Saturday.

Unlike previous years, the entire WTT season is being staged in a compressed three-week format with all nine teams staying and playing at West Virginia’s Greenbrier Resort.

“(I think my level raises) especially when you’re following up Kim Clijsters, the way she’s playing right now."
Jack Sock

In Germany, the Bett1Aces competition continued, with Dominic Thiem and Anastasija Sevastova crowned champions.

With the first event staged on grass at Berlin’s Steffi Graf stadium, the series’ second event saw an indoor court laid inside an aircraft hanger.

Thiem, who has played a heavy schedule of exhibition events throughout the European summer, continued his winning ways with an overpowering 6-4 6-2 win over Italian teen talent Jannik Sinner.

Sevastova then recovered from a set down to beat Petra Kvitova 3-6 6-3 [10-5].

Two days earlier, Kvitova fell to Elina Svitolina in the first Bett1Aces final, originally scheduled for the grass but moved indoors to the aircraft hanger due to poor weather.

In London, Katie Boulter took out the title at the Progress Tour Championships, an event held at the National Tennis Centre for top British players.

Boulter, 23 years old and a former top-100 player before a back injury halted her momentum in 2019, beat Jodie Burrage in the final.