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Chicago Fall Tennis Classic: Kim Clijsters crashes out in first round, loses to Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei in three sets

Los Angeles: Kim Clijsters remained winless in her WTA comeback bid, crashing out of the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic in the opening round on Monday after losing in three sets to Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei.

In the first career meeting between the pair, Hsieh battled past the former world number one 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in two hours and 18 minutes in Chicago, Illinois.

Clijsters, who was playing in her first match of 2021, is trying to make a comeback after retiring from the Tour in 2012. The four-time Grand Slam singles winner is 0-4 since rejoining the Tour last year.

“Outside the court she is very nice, very polite. I am lucky I didn’t play her 10 years ago,” Hsieh said of the popular Belgian.

Clijsters was making her season debut after having knee surgery at the end of last year and a bout of COVID-19 earlier this year.

“I came close today, but I still have a good feeling. I’ve made progression, and I think that’s the most important thing. What I’m looking at is that I’m improving overall, and that’s the positive thing,” Clijsters said.

Clijsters started quickly taking a 3-0 lead before Hsieh won eight straight games. Clijsters battled back from a break down in the second set to force a decider, but Hsieh played better on the bigger points to win the set.

Clijsters has won a total of six Grand Slam tournament titles, four in singles and two in doubles.

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