The Taiwanese Hsieh Su-wei became the villain of Belgian Kim Clijsters who lost in three sets in the first round of the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic in what was her last attempt to successfully return to the professional WTA circuit.
It was Clijsters’ first game since a first-round loss at the 2020 U.S. Open just over a year ago.
That was part of a 0-3 record last season after the world’s number one former player returned, but suffered a knee injury that forced her to undergo surgery and then, last January, she caught COVID- 19.
Clijsters, a mother of three, received a wild card for the Chicago tournament but was eliminated by Hsieh, Australian Open quarter-finalist, who secured victory with a final score of 6-3, 5-7 and 6-3 in 2 hours and 18 minutes.
Clijsters reached the French Open final as a teenager in 2001, part of a 0-4 record in Grand Slam title matches before a win at the 2005 US Open. Then came the titles from the US Open in 2009 and 2010 and an Australian Open trophy in 2011.
Clijsters stays in Chicago to play doubles with fellow Belgian Kirsten Flipkens. But she is unsure of her plans for the rest of the season.