Clijsters prepares for emotional grand slam farewell at U.S. Open
updated 1:53 PM EDT, Wed August 22, 2012
Kim Clijsters reached the quarterfinals of her first Olympic tournament at the recent London Games.
- The U.S. Open will be the final grand slam of Kim Clijsters' career
- The Belgian has won at Flushing Meadows three times in the last six years
- Clijsters took the tournament as a wildcard in 2009 after coming out of retirement
- The 31-year-old also claimed the title in 2005 and 2010, but has struggled with injuries recently
(CNN) -- It was the scene of her first grand slam triumph in 2005 and where she roared out of retirement to complete a hat-trick of titles in 2009 and 2010.
But this year, the U.S. Open will serve as the swansong to Kim Clijsters' rollercoaster career, and the popular Belgian is aiming to bow out with a fourth Flushing Meadows crown.
"(I am) too old to play the game that I want to play physically," the 29-year-old, who initially retired from the sport to give birth to her first child in 2007, told the New York tournament's official website.
"I've put my body through enough strain and everything. The whole lifestyle, that's what I'm dealing with now, the lifestyle I've had for the last 15, 20 years."
Jim Courier's U.S. Open tips
Tennis star launches candy line
Sloane Stephens: America's rising star
The former world No. 1 turned pro in 1997 and has won 41 WTA Tour titles in addition to her three U.S. Open triumphs and her 2011 success at the Australian Open.
"I think for me the most important thing is I've always followed my heart," she continued. "I've always done what I felt was right. I've always stayed true to who I am.
"Players change. There's so many other things involved than just tennis and practicing. I think you see players kind of losing the true sense of life, and of the sport."
Clijsters took the sport by storm on her return in 2009, winning the U.S. Open as a wildcard to become the first mother to take a grand slam title since Australia's Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980.
She successfully defended her title 12 months on, before adding the Australian Open to her collection just five months later, beating China's Li Na in the final.
"I didn't expect obviously when I started back after having Jada, I never expected that things would be going so well so soon," she added. "It's been an incredible adventure these last three, four years.
"I feel like I've been able to kind of finish that chapter of my tennis year on a good note."
Clijsters returned to the top of the world rankings in February last year, but her body began to let her down.
She missed Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2011 with ankle, wrist and shoulder injuries, but was fit enough to play in her first Olympic tournament at London 2012.
Silver medalist Maria Sharapova defeated Clijsters in the quarterfinals, but she is now looking forward to bringing her career to a close at an event which has provided so many happy memories.
"I have no regrets. I know I always gave myself 100 percent," she said. "The US Open will be a special occasion for me to be playing there and to end my career there. I'm sure it will be emotional."
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:01 PM EDT, Fri June 7, 2013
For some of the biggest names in tennis, the French Open's red clay courts mean only heartbreak and shattered dreams.
updated 7:05 AM EDT, Thu June 6, 2013
She drank alcohol on court, smoked "furiously" and horrified the establishment with her daring outfits and "unladylike" playing style.
updated 10:45 AM EDT, Tue May 28, 2013
CNN's Open Court talks to the past five French Open women's champions ahead of the start of the tennis season's second grand slam tournament.
updated 9:37 AM EDT, Mon June 3, 2013
CNN's Christina MacFarlane shows us how the French Open maintains its special surface.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Sun June 2, 2013
CNN's Christina MacFarlane shows us what it takes to be an umpire at Roland Garros.
updated 10:10 AM EDT, Mon May 27, 2013
CNN visits the Paris jewelry store that crafts the replica trophies taken home by winners French Open winners.
updated 5:39 AM EDT, Tue May 21, 2013
Nicknamed the "kissing disease," mononucleosis or glandular fever is a viral illness that is affecting tennis stars.
updated 7:29 AM EDT, Wed May 1, 2013
She towers above him, but she can't do without him. Meet the man who has made Maria Sharapova the world's wealthiest female athlete.
updated 11:11 AM EDT, Mon April 22, 2013
When Maria Sharapova underwent shoulder surgery five years ago, many thought her tennis career wouldn't last.
updated 8:58 AM EDT, Thu April 18, 2013
Nine-year-old Rebecca Suarez stunned onlookers when she was pulled out of the crowd to team up with Del Potro against Nadal.
updated 5:15 PM EDT, Thu April 18, 2013
Janko Tipsarevic is of the belief that his fellow professionals aren't doping -- or at least not on a widespread basis.
updated 10:29 AM EDT, Thu March 21, 2013
Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska are hoping to take their relationship to a new level by emulating tennis' most famous sisters.
updated 10:02 AM EDT, Thu March 21, 2013
America's 18-time grand slam champion Chris Evert talks to Open Court about her career and training the next generation of players.
updated 9:44 AM EDT, Thu March 21, 2013
CNN's Don Riddell speaks with 11-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal during one of his comeback tournaments in Mexico.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Thu March 21, 2013
Germany's veteran star Tommy Haas opens up to Pat Cash about being away from family on tour, and his many injuries.
updated 7:50 AM EDT, Mon March 11, 2013
You'd think John Isner and Nicolas Mahut would be sick of the sight of each other, but their friendship has grown since that epic match.
updated 11:08 AM EST, Mon March 4, 2013
Almost a decade after Andy Roddick's sole U.S. Open victory, America is still waiting for its next male grand slam winner. What's gone wrong?