Kim Clijsters had long known the 2012 U.S. Open would be her final tournament. And after losing to Laura Robson in the second round, she bid an emotional farewell to the New York crowd. She ends her career with four Grand Slam singles titles, three of those at the U.S. Open. Here's a look at Clijsters' career through the years.
2 of 22Allsport
Clijsters played her way through qualifying to reach her first main draw at a Grand Slam event at Wimbledon in 1999. She scored a major upset in knocking off No. 10 Amanda Coetzer in the third round, but fell to No. 3 Steffi Graf in the Round of 16. A few months later, she would win her first WTA title, in Luxembourg.
3 of 22Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Clijsters cracked the top 20 for the first time in 2000. In Miami, she got her first taste of standing on the other side of the net against a world No. 1. Though she would go on to lose that match to Martina Hingis, Clijsters would take their career hear-to-head series 5-4.
4 of 22Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images
Indian Wells, 2001
In 2001, Clijsters cracked the top five for the first time in her career, picking up titles at Stanford, Leipzig and Luxembourg. At Indian Wells, she fell in a hard-fought 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 loss to Serena Williams in the final. Amid controversy, the match was the last time Serena would play at Indian Wells.
5 of 22Michel Euler/AP
Roland Garros, 2001
Clijsters reached her first Grand Slam final at the 2001 French Open, where she came up just short against Jennifer Capriati in an epic 6-1, 4-6, 10-12 loss. The two would go on to split their career series 3-3.
6 of 22Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Clijsters and Australian Lleyton Hewitt got engaged in 2003, but they ended their relationship in 2004.
7 of 22Bob Martin/SI
Australian Open, 2003
Starting the season with a win in Sydney, Clijsters was the No. 4 seed heading into Melbourne. She steamrolled into the semis, dropping only 16 games along the way, but ran into top-ranked Serena Williams and lost in three sets.
8 of 22Charles Platiau/Reuters
Roland Garros, 2003
Nobody said tennis was easy. In 2003, Justine Henin stopped Clijsters in four finals, including Roland Garros.
9 of 22Manny Millan/SI
U.S. Open, 2003
In 2003, Clijsters took over the No. 1 ranking for the first time in her career shortly before the U.S. Open. In her first major as the top seed, she'd go on to lose to Justine Henin in straight sets. In a storied rivalry between the two, Clijsters holds the career head-to-head 13-12.
10 of 22Chuck Solomon/SI
U.S. Open, 2005
The moment she had been waiting for. Clijsters won her first Grand Slam title at the 2005 U.S. Open, beating Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Mary Pierce in her final three matches. As the winner of the U.S. Open Series as well, Clijsters took home $2.2 million in prize money, the then-largest check in women's sports.
11 of 22Bob Martin/SI
U.S. Open, 2005
You just won your first major. Climb up into that player's box.
12 of 22Bob Martin/SI
Roland Garros, 2006
Clijsters won three WTA titles in 2006 and reached the semifinals of all three majors she played. She lost to Justine Henin at Wimbledon and Roland Garros but withdrew from the U.S. Open with a wrist injury.
13 of 22Eric Lalmand/AFP/Getty Images
Clijsters announced her retirement in 2007 after losing her opener at the Warsaw event. She went 14-3 in the season including a title in Sydney and a finals showing in Antwerp. Clijsters was ranked No. 4 at her retirement. (Only two players have retired with a higher ranking: Steffi Graf at No. 3 and Justine Henin at No. 1.)
14 of 22John Sommers II/Reuters
After missing all of 2008, Clijsters stormed back onto the professional tennis scene in 2009. In Cincinnati, her first tournament back, she made it to the quarterfinals before losing to No. 1 Dinara Safina.
15 of 22Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
U.S. Open, 2009
Just a month after returning to the tour, Clijsters won her second Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open. In doing so, Clijsters became the only unranked wild card to win a major title and the first mother to win a Slam since Evonne Goolagong in 1980. In the semis, Clijsters was on the other side of the net for Serena Williams' infamous foot-fault and then defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the final. After winning, her daughter, Jada, came out onto the court to make the tennis world let out a collective Awwww .
16 of 22Mike Stobe/Getty Images
U.S. Open, 2009
Clijsters married her husband, Brian Lynch, in 2007. Lynch, a former European basketball player, was on hand to celebrate her U.S. Open title in Times Square.
17 of 22Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
U.S. Open, 2009
Clijsters won the 2009 Comeback Player of the Year award despite playing only four tournaments all season.
18 of 22Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
On her way to the Sony Ericsson Open title in 2010, Clijsters had to face then or future Grand Slam champs in five of her six matches. She met Petra Kvitova in her first match and Victoria Azarenka, Sam Stosur, Justine Henin, Venus Williams in her final four matches.
19 of 22Simon Bruty/SI
U.S. Open, 2010
Clijsters entered the 2010 U.S. Open on a 14-match win streak in Flushing Meadows, and she'd extend that to 21 with another title on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
20 of 22Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
U.S. Open, 2010
Jada could get used to seeing mommy with U.S. Open trophies.
21 of 22William West/AFP/Getty Images
Australian Open, 2011
Clijsters came out firing to start the 2011 season, finishing runner-up to Li Na in Sydney and claiming her fourth (and final) Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. She also briefly took over the No. 1 ranking, becoming the first mother to hold the WTA's top spot. But injuries would derail the rest of her year and she'd play only three events in the last seven months.
22 of 22Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Clijsters would go on to battle injuries for the rest of her career. In 2012, she made a run at another Australian Open title but came up short to eventual champ Victoria Azarenka. At Wimbledon, she lost in the the fourth round to Angelique Kerber.
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