Former world no. 1 tells CNN's Open Court she misses not going to Melbourne
Mother of two retired from tennis for a second time in 2012
Clijsters resumed career in 2009 after originally retiring in 2007
Belgian won a total of four grand slam titles -- the last in Melbourne in 2011
Kim Clijsters has been lured out of retirement once before and if anything is going to encourage the former world no. 1 out for a third stint on tour it’s the thought of playing at the Australian Open.
Speaking with world no. 14 Ana Ivanovic on CNN’s Open Court, the 30-year-old Belgian admitted to a few pangs of jealousy as her Serbian friend prepared to jet off to Melbourne for the year’s first grand slam.
“Yeah I’m a little bit jealous when you told me that you’re leaving tomorrow,” said Clijsters, who won the last of her four grand slam titles at Melbourne in 2011.
“A lot of people ask me do you miss being on the road or do you miss playing tennis or the competition? And that’s what I kind of miss the most last year was being in Australia at the start of the year.”
The Clijsters, who retired for the second time in 2012, won’t be the only European pining for a bit of summer sun to soothe the winter blues.
But while most visitors would flock to the beach or lounge around a pool, it’s clear that the former world no. 1 still misses the more active outdoor life that Aussie life affords.
“The first morning when you wake up with a huge jet lag, four, five o’clock in the morning and everybody is running or swimming, you can go outside and they are on their bikes and that’s what I love,” she says.
“I think if I would do that here in Belgium people would think I’m going crazy. Then again, the weather is not suited to living that kind of life style. I miss that.”
However, the mother of two – Clijsters has a five-year-old daughter, Jada and gave birth to a son, Jack last September – isn’t about to make a comeback like she did in 2009.
“I don’t miss the competition. I don’t miss the heavy work out schedule. It was getting harder with Jada to combine it and now with Jack. I enjoy working out still but I enjoy doing it when I feel like doing it.”
Living an active life is a habit Clijsters is keen to pass on to her children, but she’s not about to become another one of tennis’ pushy parents.
“I’m not the kind of person where I want (Jada) to be like me and want her to have a career like me,” Clijsters told CNN in December 2012.
“She plays a bit, she’s at the club that I own with a friend every Wednesday, she goes there just for the social side of things …
“It’s just fun to see her have a social life and be among friends while playing sports. Whether it’s swimming, track and field or tennis, I’ll support her whatever she wants to do.
“But I’m not going to be the mother that’s like, ‘We’re going to play tennis, we’re going to practice this and this shot’ – I’m not like that at all.”