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5 tennis players who made a comeback after retiring

Kim Clijsters
Kim Clijsters

Just recently, former World no. 1 men's tennis player Marcelo Rios announced that he would make a comeback to the sport after a gap of 14 years. After having retired in 2004, the 43-year-old plans to return to the Challenger tour.

He is the only male player in the Open Era to never have won a single Grand Slam title despite holding the no. 1 ranking, which he did for six weeks in 1998.

Apart from Rios, we have seen multiple players make a comeback to the sport after calling it quits. While many found a lot of success on their return, there were a few who failed to make an impact.

In this article, we take a look at 5 such players who made a sensational comeback to the sport after retiring:

#5 Kim Clijsters

Kim Clijsters had won just one Grand Slam title before announcing her retirement in May 2007. Her lone victory came at the US Open in 2005. She was a two-time finalist at the French Open in 2001 and 2003, losing to Jennifer Capriati and Justin Henin-Harden respectively.

However, two years after announcing her retirement, Clijsters made a return to the sport during the hard court swing of 2009. In her third tournament on return, she claimed her second Grand Slam title of her career at the US Open. By doing so, she became the first unseeded player and wildcard to win a Grandslam in women's tennis. She also became the first mother since 1980 to win a Slam.

She did not stop there as she went on to defend her US Open crown in 2010 and followed that up with a victory at the Australian Open in 2011 as well. She eventually retired from the sport after the US Open in 2012.

#4 Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova

One of the greatest tennis stars to have played the sport, Martina Navratilova, retired from the sport in 1994 with 18 Grand Slam singles titles and 31 doubles titles. However, she shocked the world when she announced her return to tennis in 2000.

While she did not achieve success in singles, she found a lot of success in doubles and mixed doubles, winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon mixed doubles crown in 2003. She finally retired from the sport in 2006 after winning the mixed doubles event in 2006.


#3 Martina Hingis

Hingis and Paes
Hingis and Paes

Martina Hingis broke numerous records as a youngster, including being the youngest ever player to win a Grand Slam title. However, due to injuries, she retired at the age of 22. She made a return in 2006 but was banned for two years for the use of cocaine and due to another injury as well.

She made a return to the sport once again in 2013 and decided to focus on doubles and mixed doubles. She found plenty of success, becoming the world no. 1 doubles player for a long time and notching up numerous Grand Slam titles, especially with India's Sania Mirza and Leander Paes.

#2 Margaret Court

Margaret Court
Margaret Court

Arguably the greatest ever tennis player of all time, Margaret Court already had 13 Grand Slam singles titles when she temporarily retired to get married at the age of 24.

However, she made a stunning return to the sport late in 1967. There was no stopping her from there as she went on to win another 11 singles titles and over 20 doubles and mixed doubles titles. She took temporary breaks in between for the birth of her three children.

She finally retired in 1977 when she was pregnant with her fourth child. She holds the record of having won the most number of Grand Slams ever - a record which Serena Williams is close to beating.


#1 Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg
Bjorn Borg

The Swede dominated the tennis circuit in the 1970s and was undoubtedly the best player of his time. He formed formidable rivalries with the likes of John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.

He won 11 Grand Slam titles between 1974 and 1981, including 6 French Open titles and 5 consecutive Wimbledon titles. However, he retired early in 1983 at the age of 26 due to burnout.

He decided to make a comeback in 1991 using an outdated wooden racket. Unfortunately, he failed to win a single game over the next two years and thus decided to call it quits in 1993.

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Edited by Sripad
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