Kim Clijsters (BEL) speaks at a press conference during media day for the 2012 US Open at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
As Kim Clijsters' career comes to a close — the 29-year-old has said she will retire after the US Open, win or lose — we take a look through the years at one of the tour's most beloved players.
After her first year on the WTA Tour, Clijsters was awarded the Most Impressive Newcomer trophy at the 1999 WTA Awards Ceremony.
In 2000, Clijsters began what would be a four-year relationship with former world No. 1-ranked Australian Lleyton Hewitt. "Aussie Kim" and Hewitt became engaged in 2003, but they called it off and broke up in October 2004.
Clijsters' first Grand Slam title wasn't in singles. In 2003, she took home the French Open and Wimbledon doubles trophies with partner Ai Sugiyama of Japan. Each time they defeated Virginia Ruano Pascual and Paola Suarez in the final. Clijster reached the final that year in the French Open and US Open but lost both times to fellow Belgian player Justine Henin.
In February 2004, world No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne and world No. 2 Clijsters pose with HM King Albert II (left) and Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt after receiving the Grande-Croix de l'Ordre de la Couronne at the Royal Palace in Brussels, Belgium. Both players had careers in which they retired and came back again. Henin won seven Slam titles to Clijsters' four. But Clijsters holds a slight edge (13-12) in their head-to-head meetings.
In 2005, Clijsters celebrated her US Open win with her boyfriend Brian Lynch in Bree, Belgium. Clijsters and Lynch, an American basketball player playing professionally in Belgium, would secretly marry in July 2007.
Open for business
In 2005, Clijsters finally won her first Grand Slam singles title by defeating Mary Pierce of France in the final of the US Open. It would be the first of three US Open wins for Clijsters.
In good company
Clijsters and Russia's Maria Sharapova hit the red carpet during a welcome party for the Watsons Water Champions Challenge on Jan. 2, 2007, in Hong Kong.
Kim Clijsters had a tough run during the 2007 Sony Ericsson Open, losing to Li Na in the fourth round. Only two months later, on May 6, Clijsters announced on her official website that she was retiring from the sport immediately, citing injuries. She married Brian Lynch in July, and daughter Jada was born in February 2008, nine months after the announcement. Just sayin'.
In 2009, after two years in retirement, Clijsters decided to give tennis another whirl. She rejoined the tour after Wimbledon, and though she did not win any tournaments, she did have some victories against top-20 players, including Marion Bartoli, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Patty Schnyder. She was given a wild card into the US Open draw and went on to defeat Serena Williams in the semifinals and Caroline Wozniacki in the final to win her second US Open title.
Clijsters celebrates her 2009 US Open victory with husband Brian and daughter Jada. Clijsters became the first wild-card champion in US Open history and the first mother to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won Wimbledon in 1980.
Clijsters battled compatriot Justine Henin to a third-set tiebreak to reach the 2010 Key Biscayne final.
Show of strength
Clijsters continued to work her way back to the top of the sport with her Key Biscayne title in 2010. This time, it took her only straight sets to end Venus Williams' 15-match unbeaten streak.
As parents, Clijsters and Roger Federer are sure to find even greater enjoyment in events such as Arthur Ashe Kids' Day at the 2010 US Open.
Fun and games
Her third US Open title is perhaps her sweetest, as Clijsters celebrates her 2010 victory with daughter Jada. Clijsters had little trouble defeating Russia's Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-1 to win the singles title once again.
Clijsters poses with her trophy after defeating Li Na to win the 2011 Australian Open for her fourth Grand Slam title. Photo: AFP Reporters/GREG WOOD / AFP