Kim Clijsters made a dramatic comeback to tennis in 2009, winning the US Open as a non-seeded wildcard in only her third tournament after a two year absence. It was a remarkable return to top level sport. Clijsters had announced her retirement in May 2007 at the age of 24 because of continuing injuries.
After playing in just two tournaments as a warm-up, she played at the US Open in Flushing Meadows and beat World No 3 Venus Williams in the fourth round – only her 11th match since coming out of retirement - then she beat World No 2 Serena Williams in the semi-final and ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets in the final. Her US Open win placed her in the top 20 in the world rankings, she became the first wild card champion in US Open history and the first mother to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won Wimbledon in 1980.
She rounded off the year in December in an exhibition match in Antwerp, beating Venus Williams 6-1 7-5. She finished the year ranked 18th. Kim had officially announced her return to tennis during a press conference on March 26, 2009. She said that she preferred to think of it as a ‘second career’ instead of a comeback, because so many factors - marriage, a baby, the recent death of her father - were different to her first career.