Mounting a comeback at the U.S. Open, Kim Clijsters fell victim to one.
The three-time champion powered her way to an early lead but couldn’t hold it, and Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova rallied Tuesday night for a first-round victory, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
It was Clijsters’ first match at a Grand Slam tournament since 2012, when she retired after the Open. Now 37, the mother of three and a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, she has decided to resume her career this year but is 0-3.
“It’s a process,” she said. “That’s what I told myself at the start when I took this challenge on — that it’s going to take a lot of hard work and losses.”
Clijsters said she trained hard for the Open and was excited to play, even with no fans in the stands because of the coronavirus pandemic. She has been hampered this year by injuries, most recently an abdominal ailment that appeared to be an issue in the final set, when the pace of her serve dropped.