Just under 8 years ago we waved goodbye to Kim Clijsters on the tennis court.
Laura Robson who was then 18 year old defeat the Belgian at Flushing Meadows as he second stint on the tour had come to an end.
Little did we expect seven years later Kim who is now a mother of three and runs her own academy back home in Belgium was planning a return to the tour in 2020.
Melbourne was the target but injury put that plan on hold. The plan was Charleston in early April but a last minute wildcard into Dubai was on offer and she felt ready to return.
Her opponent was set to be Kiki Bertens but the St. Petersburg winner withdrew before her final last week due to travelling, the draw was shuffled up and instead Kim got Australian Open finalist Garbine Muguruza.
On the evidence of the match if anyone is thinking Kim Clijsters is just returning for the sake of it, think again!
She took a while to settle into the match but as would anyone who hadn’t played a competitive match in over seven years.
Muguruza took the first set 6-2 and led 3-0 in the second but the Belgian continued to hit away and her forehand was brutal!
0-3 down to 5-4.
The Belgian flags were flying and the crowd were cheering on a special occasion for Kim and women’s tennis.
The way the former world number one forced herself ahead was fantastic, that fighting spirit never leaves you and she showed that. At 4-4 it looked like she was about to go 4-5 down but the Hawkeye showed her forehand hit the back edge of the line as she went onto hold for a lead in the set.
The wobble came from Muguruza as Kim forced a tie-break.
Kim took a 2-1 lead with a mini-break following a double fault and then an ace from the Spaniard. Muguruza hustled and led 4-2 and 5-3 with Kim saving one match point but Muguruza converted her second to win 6-2 7-6!