02 March 2020

Kim Clijsters to continue tennis return against Britain's Johanna Konta at Monterrey Open

Four-time Grand Slam winner Kim Clijsters will continue her return after more than seven years out of the game when she takes on Britain's Johanna Konta at the Monterrey Open on Tuesday.

The 36 year-old played her first competitive match since the 2012 US Open two weeks ago against two-time Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza in Dubai.

And Clijsters put on an impressive performance despite losing 6-2 7-6 (8), something she hopes to build on in Mexico this week.

She said: "I feel like with the tennis that I've been playing, I'm improving. I still have a good level in me. I'm still at the stage where I feel like I need match rhythm.

"I've played one official match so far, and some practice sets. I would like to have more matches, and that's the only way that I can practice certain things that you can only learn from matches.

"In practice, I'm moving better, I'm reacting better, I'm making better decisions. It has to happen in the match now. I think the more matches I get to play, the more that will improve a little bit, and we'll see how far I can go."

Clijsters is well aware it is going to take her some time if she hopes to get back to the very top of the sport.

And despite losing her opening match to Muguruza, the Belgian believes she is now at a mature enough point in her career where she can take defeats and turn them into positives.

"It's a process. It's a process of ups and downs, and I think that's something you have to understand. It comes with failure, but I think it's how you deal in the moments where it's the toughest," she added.

"That's when you improve the most, when you learn the most about yourself and when you're capable of improving. I think that was something I was always able to do well.

"When I lost in the past I was disappointed, but after a certain amount of time, I was able to make that switch in my head and use it, and that's how I was able to become better. I think it's that kind of mindset. It's important to not get discouraged about the losses, and use it to motivate you even more."

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox