Only Serena can help herself, says Clijsters

Belgian believes American tennis star will have to rely on her instinct to make comeback


Afp July 09, 2018
PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: At first sight the tattoo on the inside of Kim Clijsters' left wrist does not seem like a sign of how busy life can be for a tennis-playing mother.

It reads "Jada" — the name of her first born.

Only problem is Clijsters is now a mother-of-three and by the time her sons Jake and Blake came along, she simply had no time to indulge in getting some more body art inked to her wrist, or anywhere else for that matter.

"I've been tattooed out," the Belgian told Reuters with a laugh as she sat on a balcony overlooking Wimbledon's Court 14.

So do the boys make an issue of this apparent snub by mum? "They don't but Jada does. She feels very happy as she thinks she's the special kid."

As a curly-haired 18-month-old toddler, Jada melted hearts as she ran around on Arthur Ashe Stadium in September 2009 but her presence also celebrated the fact that Clijsters had just become the first mother to win a Grand Slam title since 1980.

Clijsters went on to lift two more major trophies and she remains the only mother to have claimed any of the four slams over the past 38 years.

However, expectations have been growing that Serena Williams may be about to join that club as she chases a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam crown after returning from a year-long maternity break.

"Serena knows what she has to do to get back to her best level. Nobody else knows. Not even (her coach) Patrick (Mouratoglou)," explained Clijsters, who won three of her four slams after the birth of Jada. "Patrick knows what she has to do to be the best tennis player, her fitness coach knows what she needs to do to get back into the shape she was in before she had her baby. But only Serena knows all the details. The mental side of things, nobody can get into your head. That's only her. She's so strong to do all those things but it takes time." AFP

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