Former world number one Kim Clijsters who retired for the second time in 2012 but returned to action in February 2020, went down 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 to the Czech Katarina Siniakova at Indian Wells which dropped her to 0-5 since coming back to the tour. Clijsters fell behind 3-0 in the first set as she struggled to find a rhythm with her serve at the start but turned tables in the second, pounding winners to the delight of the supportive crowd on an overcast day in the Southern California desert.
Clijsters had knee surgery in October 2020 and returned to the court at last week`s Chicago Fall Tennis Classic, where she lost in the first round to Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei.
Kim Clijsters is back in the house for the first time since 2011
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) October 7, 2021
“Last week in Chicago I started well but had a few games where I wasn`t into the match, Here too, looking for my rhythm, my anticipation again, reading my opponents, getting used to playing on a bigger court again. I fought my way into the match well in that second set, and I kind of put her under pressure a little bit better. Overall, there are definitely moments where I`m feeling really good out there, and there are moments where I feel too inconsistent. That`s part of this process in general, it`s not going to be a smooth ride and that`s what I`m going to try to improve every time I`m out there.” Clijsters told reporters.
Clijsters missed an open forehand on game point that would have put the players back on serve. From there, Siniakova was able to coast to the finish. Siniakova, a former world number one doubles player who took home gold at the Tokyo Games playing with Barbora Krejcikova, will next face 10th seeded Angelique Kerber.