S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands (AFP) –
Kim Clijsters made a winning return to action on Sunday, beating Switzerland’s Romina Oprandi 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-3 in the first round of the s-Hertogenbosch grasscourt tournament.
Former world number one Clijsters, who hadn’t played since March because of a right hip injury, was the champion in this pre-Wimbledon event in 2003.
She was beaten in the second round by Oprandi in 2011 — a match in which she suffered a right ankle injury that forced her to miss that summer’s Wimbledon.
“It was very close today,” said Clijsters.
“Oprandi is a difficult player. Fortunately I continued to fight and I stayed focused. The second and third sets went better and better.”
The 28-year-old Belgian announced last month that she will retire after the US Open in September, but will play Wimbledon and the Olympics before bringing the curtain down on her career.
“I enjoy every match that I can play — it’s going to be an important summer.”