Clijsters: I have no regrets
Originally published on: 25/06/12 00:00
Four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters admits she’ll be feeling emotional when the curtain comes down on her final appearance at the All England Club. Playing in her last Wimbledon Championships, the unseeded Clijsters will face world No.21 Jelena Jankovic, who the Belgian has beaten in seven of their eight meetings since 2002.
“Jankovic is a tough opponent,” said Clijsters. “We've had some tough battles in the past. Not being seeded, obviously it's possible that you draw a high seed so you have to be ready from the first match onwards.”
Clijsters’ preparation for her last Wimbledon has been far from ideal. The former world No.1 returned to the tour at the UNICEF Open last week after a three-month layoff with injury, but her run was halted at the semi-final stage when she withdrew with a left-abdominal injury as precaution.
Clijsters is roundly applauded for how she conducts herself both on and off the court and she believes staying true to herself has been the key. “I've always followed my heart,” said the world No.47. “I've always done what I felt was right. I've always followed my roots. I think that's something in this kind of lifestyle where you get kind of when you're young and you start doing well.
“There are so many other things involved than just tennis and practising. I think you see players kind of losing the true sense of life, I think, and of the sport. And I'm glad. I have no regrets. I know I always gave myself 100%."
Clijsters, who won three of her four Grand Slam titles after giving birth to daughter Jada, will finish her career at the US Open but before that she will play in her first ever Olympic Games.
“I'm really excited about it. Like I said, it's such a special place to be playing tennis at. It's going to be a little bit different. I got my outfit sent to me. I saw the red skirt and I was like, ‘red skirt at Wimbledon?’ That's going to be a little bit different.
“I've never played the Olympics, so it's going to be a whole new experience for me there, as well.”