Clijsters needs another winning comeback in Paris

Thu May 19, 2011 10:05am GMT

By Mark Meadows

LONDON (Reuters) - Kim Clijsters will not have played a match in almost two months when she returns at the French Open but if anyone can make a big impression after a lengthy absence the Belgian can.

She won the U.S. Open in 2009 only three tournaments into her comeback from a two-year break to have a child, stunning the tennis world by her nonchalance in effortlessly picking up where she had left off.

Her chances of success at Roland Garros could be just as high given the dearth of top talent in the women's tennis, which has got worse since her original comeback, with Venus and Serena Williams and Dinara Safina missing through injury.

How fit she will be, though, remains to be seen after the world number two injured her ankle at her cousin's wedding having previously had problems with her shoulder and wrist.

"I will be able to take part as long as I have some very tight strapping on my ankle," she said in a statement.

Her determination to return for the clay grand slam (May 23-June 5) springs partly from the fact she has never won in Paris with two runners-up spots her best result.

The 27-year-old is also running out of time to seal victory in Paris given she has indicated she will probably quit the game for good next year.

All this suggests she will play even if only 80 percent fit and, with no one dominating a lacklustre women's game at the moment, that might be enough to see her through.   Continued...

<p>Kim Clijsters of Belgium serves to Marion Bartoli of France during their first round match of the 2009 Cincinnati Women's Open tennis tournament August 10, 2009. REUTERS/John Sommers II</p>
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