Clijsters takes solace in periods of dominance during Muguruza defeat

Ross Houston
February 18, 2020

"She's had ups and downs a little bit throughout her career but the way she has been able to play some of her best tennis when she had to, winning those two Grand Slams and losing the final against Kenin in Australia was a tough loss but she still played some unbelievable tennis".

Kim Clijsters took solace in feeling like she had periods of dominance against Garbine Muguruza, who ensured the four-time major champion's comeback began with a defeat.

"It will be a very tough match but I think no matter who I played I'm still trying to absorb so much and learn things that I still need to kinda figure out and learn to read my opponents".

"I think this is just special because I didn't know how [Clijsters was] going to play", Muguruza said post-match.

But she levelled at 4-4 and saved two break points in the next game to eventually set up a tie-break.

After a brief return she retired again in 2012.

Clijsters made the announcement that she would be returning to the court at the end of a year ago, but a wrist injury ended hopes of beginning her comeback at last month's first Grand Slam in Melbourne.

"I had a good feeling out there".

Clijsters, who has also won three Tour finals, lacked sharpness in the first set before going 3-0 down at the start of the next. "I'm actually really looking forward to starting the process".

"I'm sure she's going to get better and better, for sure, give us a lot of trouble".

Clijsters looked she was putting some pressure on the two-time Grand Slam winner's serve in the fourth game but Muguruza came through unscathed to go 3-1 up.

But Muguruza quickly recovered to take the set to a tiebreak and, despite Clijsters' best efforts to take it to a deciding set, the Spaniard advanced on her second match point.

Clijsters' fellow Belgian Elise Mertens was in action earlier in the day and had significantly fewer issues, cruising past Wang Qiang in straight sets.

Barbora Strycova turned a corner after a poor start this season as she defeated U.S. teenager Amanda Anisimova 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 6-4, winning only her second match of 2020.

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