Monterry (Mexico): Returning to competitive tennis eight years after retirement, four-time major winner Kim Clijsters lost in the first round of the WTA tournament here, just her second match of an ambitious comeback after her 2012 retirement.
The 36-year-old Belgian mother of three played her first match in over seven years in Dubai last month where she was defeated by Garbine Muguruza.
In the first round in Mexico, a still unranked Clijsters was drawn to face second seed Johanna Konta, the British number one, and went down 6-3, 7-5.
"I felt some things were better," Clijsters said in comments carried by wtatennis.com.
"Some things still need a lot of improvement. That's why it's good to play matches. In Dubai, I didn't start well because I was overwhelmed, but today I started and served much better than I did there.
"Those are a few of the positive things, and the points that have to be better, I'll work very hard to improve them for other matches."
Clijsters added: "I've been through different generations and played many players throughout my whole career. I'm still at a stage where I want to focus on what I'm doing and how I'm feeling, and also start reading my opponents.
"It's a process that I have to trust and keep working hard to improve in every match I play. I'd like to take big steps but I have to focus on small step and improving day by day."
Konta acknowledged she had been star-struck. "As a young player, I never thought I'd get to play Kim Clijsters in my career," she said. "I feel truly privileged and honored to share the court with such a champion. It's nice to have her back."...