Kim Clijsters' glittering career

Updated 9:24 AM ET, Thu January 9, 2014
clijsters waveclijsters wave
1 of 10
Kim Clijsters retired from professional tennis for a second time at the U.S. Open in September 2012. The Belgian won four grand slam titles in a 15-year career which included a two-year break between 2007 and 2009. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GettyImages
Kim Clijsters with daughter Jada and the 2010 U.S. Open trophy after beating Vera Zvonareva in the final. Getty Images
Clijsters came out of retirement the previous year, having taken time out to have her first child. She defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the 2009 final after receiving a wild-card entry to the season's closing grand slam. AFP/Getty Images
Clijsters had a love affair with New York. Here she climbs into the family area after the 2005 U.S. Open final after beating France's Mary Pierce 6-3 6-1 to clinch her first grand slam title. Getty Images
The Belgian suffered a shock 6-7 (3-7) 3-6 loss to Julia Vakulenko in 2007 in what proved to be her final match before retiring for the first time. Clijsters took time away from the sport to raise her family and gave birth to Jada in 2008. Getty Images
Clijsters defended her Flushing Meadows crown in 2010, avenging her defeat by Russia's Zvonareva in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon -- a loss she told CNN "hurt her the most." Getty Images
Clijsters enjoys popularity in Australia thanks to ex-boyfriend and male tennis star Lleyton Hewitt. She was overcome with emotion after defeating Li Na of China to clinch the 2011 Australian Open -- the fourth grand slam title of her career. Getty Images
The daughter of a footballer and a gymnast, Clijsters is renowned for her on-court splits -- an ability which originated from her early years on clay courts but was later transferred to other surfaces. AFP/Getty Images
Clijsters' final singles match was a loss against unseeded British teenager Laura Robson in the second round of the 2012 U.S. Open. She also competed in the mixed doubles competition with Bob Bryan, but they too lost in the second round. Getty Images
Clijsters put on a series of farewell matches in her homeland to say thank you and goodbye to her hoards of Belgian fans. Getty Images