Kim Clijsters is professional Belgian tennis player. She was the former world number one ranked tennis player in both the singles and doubles category. Kim Clijsters was born on June 8, 1983 in Bilzen, Limburg. She was born to a father who was an international soccer player and a mother who was a Belgian gymnastics champion.Kim’s career in tennis began as early as six years old. This was the age that Kim started playing the sport and even entered a tennis competition. At 11 years old, Kim was discovered by Coach Bart Van Kerckhove when Kim won the Belgian Junior Championship. Bart became her coach from the years 1992-1996. In the year 1996, Kim went to study in a tennis school in Wilrijk, Antwerp. It was in that tennis school that Kim met her new coach, Carl Maes who became her coach until the year 2002.
Kim’s junior career was a success. She was a hit in junior Grand Slams and even became the youngest national champion ever in 1998 at the age of 15. Kim’s debut to both the ITF and WTA tournaments, Kim was a huge success and did not disappoint her coach and country.
In the span of her professional career, Kim won 41 WTA singles titles and 11 WTA doubles titles. She won the WTA Tour Championships singles title in 2002 and 2003 and the US Open singles title in 2005. In doubles, Kim also had her fair share of championship titles. In the year 2003, Kim won the French Open and Wimbledon titles for doubles.
Citing injuries, Kim announced her retirement from professional tennis on May 6, 2007. In 2003, Kim became the first Belgian to be ranked World number 1 without winning a Grand Slam. She also became the first woman to play more than 100 singles matches in a year, the last being Chris Evert. In 2005, Kim became the lowest ranked player at world number 133 to ever win a Tier I event and also became the lowest ranked player to defeat the reigning world number 1 tennis player, Lindsay Davenport. She was also the only second player to win the Indian Wells-Key Biscayne double. She also managed to win the largest paycheck in women’s sports history, amounting to US$2.2 million. She also had a 22-match winning streak from the month of August to October. In 2006, Kim made the fastest and biggest leap in women’s tennis history, coming from a ranking of World number 134 to World number 1. Although Clijsters did retire in 2007, she made her comeback in 2009. During her comeback she was able to acquire wildcards for several tournaments, which spurred her back into the tour. A year after, she was able to perform well, managing to land at the top tiers of several events. For her hard work and performance during the 2010 season, she was given the WTA Player of the Year award, which would be her second as she also received one in 2005. Previously, she was the Come Back Player of the Year.
Although Clijsters was previously known for reaching the top without a Grand Slam title, she now holds the No. 8 spot as of October 2011, and has 4 Grand Slam titles. The recent title was won in 2011 at the Australian Open.