Kim Kleisters is a tennis player who, for over 10 years, retained the status of the first racket of the world. The athlete was repeatedly awarded the title of champion in doubles and singles.
Kim Kleisters was born on June 8, 1983 in the Belgian town of Bilsen. The parents of the future star were athletes. The father of the growing tennis player was a professional footballer, and her mother was engaged in gymnastics for a long time, repeatedly winning gold awards in this discipline. Therefore, the girl’s life path was predetermined in advance.
For the first time, Kim Kleisters came to the tennis court at the age of 6. Already at 11 years old, the girl received the status of the first racket of the country among juniors. A few years later, the athlete was invited to study at the Tennis Academy in Antwerp. Here, school subjects alternated for the girl with regular training on the tennis court.
The first serious success for the young athlete came in 1999, when she won the championship at a prestigious tournament in Luxembourg. 2003 was triumphant for Kim Claysters. The Grand Slam Championship, which was held this season, was submitted to the athlete on the first try. Thus, the young tennis player won her first career title, and soon became the first racket of the world.
Forced career decline
The early 2000s were not so successful for Kim Claysters. The athlete now and then was on the verge of winning numerous tournaments, however, for a number of reasons, she each time gave titles to opponents. However, the loss of form did not prevent Kim from winning the Federation Cup in collaboration with Justin Henin
at the tournament in 2001. In the final match of the competition, the couple beat the rivals from the Russian team.
In 2003, Claysters lost to the same, well-known by her joint performances, Justin Henin in the final match of the tournament Roland Garros. However, at the end of the season, the Belgian tennis player retained the title of the first racket of the world, thanks to the points scored in passing fights. And this despite the lack of victories in the finals of a series of Grand Slam tournaments.
Since 2004, the athlete has shown not so impressive tennis. Kim Kleisters suffered from a number of unpleasant injuries. Relapse of injuries forced the champion to regularly withdraw from major competitions. Thus, according to the results of the season, the former first racket of the world was outside the first hundred in the ranking of the best tennis players in the world.
Return to the big sport
In 2005, Kim Kleisters completely recovered from numerous relapses of old injuries. In the same season, the athlete submitted to the Grand Slam series tournament in Miami. Then followed the victory of the tennis player at the US Open. Thus, Kim Kleisters announced to the public about her return and intention to restore the status of the first racket of the world.
Successful performances continued for the athlete until 2007. At the beginning of the season, Kim began to again worry about health problems. Therefore, the tennis player soon decided to leave the sport for a while, devoting free time to her family. In 2008, Claysters gave birth to a daughter, whose father was American basketball player Brian Lynch.
Already in the 2009/2010 season, the Belgian champion again joined the fight for the title of best tennis player in the world. According to the results of a one-year performance, Kim contributed the title of champion of the United States Open Championship to her own piggy bank of achievements.
Claysters expected another success at the Australian Open in the 2010/2011 season. During the competition, the tennis player passed the Russian star Maria Sharapova on the grid. Kim later defeated Vera Zvonareva and became the winner of the tournament.
After triumphant performances at the championships in the USA and Australia, until 2012, the Belgian athlete did not have significant victories. Therefore, she soon decided to declare the final completion of her professional career.
To this day, Kim Kleisters retains the status of a unique tennis player who managed to achieve the highest achievements in sports at an early age. During her appearances at Grand Slam tournaments, she earned a record $ 23 million in prize money. Today, the Belgian athlete occupies the first position in the list of the most successful tennis players in history.