U.S. Open Champ Kim Clijsters: 'Anything is Possible'

09/14/2009 at 01:00 PM ET
Juan Soliz/Pacific Coast News

When Belgian Kim Clijsters defeated Caroline Wozniacki last night to claim the women’s singles trophy at the U.S. Open, she became the first mom to emerge victorious at a Grand Slam event in 29 years.

The historic significance of the win was not lost on the 26-year-old former World No. 1, mom to 18-month-old Jada Ellie.

“I hope that I can inspire a lot of other women who are willing, or hoping, to [return to work] but maybe don’t know the way to start or are insecure about starting,” she told CNN after the match.

Kim was quick to point out, however, that she couldn’t have achieved her new-found success without the support of husband Brian Lynch and others.

“I really believe anything is possible but it is a family affair. I also need help from family and people around me but it’s a great feeling to know that I can combine the sport that I love but also be a mum as well — it’s great.”

Having only recently emerged from retirement — the tournament in Flushing Meadows was just her third tournament after a two year hiatus — Kim admitted that the results exceeded her wildest expectations.

When she stepped away from the sport due to nagging injuries in 2007, she says that she considered the move permanent.

“[Coming back] wasn’t something I was planning on doing,” she said, “but obviously I have done well and obviously it is a great feeling to have.”

“During those two years off I maybe hit the ball two or three times and a few practice sessions with my friends – in fact it wasn’t even practice it was just fooling around. So to be in that position to decide that I wanted to do more than play exhibition matches was a big decision to have to be made, but right now it definitely feels like the best decision.”

Source: CNN

— Missy

See a second photo below!

Art Seitz/Splash News Online

FILED UNDER: Babies , News , Parenting

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Jen on

Way to go Kim, I was rooting for you, great victory, lovely family, so happy for you. Welcome back

Tracy on

It was cute seeing little Jada in the stands, oblivious to her mother’s enormous achievement. I’m so thrilled Kim won.

Megan on

Goodness I think Jada was a close second last night to her mom’s win…I was SO HAPPY that Kim won–she earned every single bit of that! And Jada…goodness how adorable is she–she is Kim’s mini-me and so darn gorgeous with all that curly hair and gorgeous smile! It truly was an amazing feel good story where the best person won and it just so happened it was a good story too…congrats Kim!

Tess on

I can’t believe CBS didn’t show this match. I was really looking forward to it, only to find out they weren’t going to air it.

Congrats to Kim, I was cheering for her to win. I just wish I could have seen it.

eternalcanadian on

It was so refreshing to see this after Serena William’s violent outburst during her match with Kim. For Kim to recover so well from that unsettling surprise of winning that match by Serena’s elimination shows Kim has immense strength. Way to go Kim!

Tracy on

I just love that picture of Kim with her husband and daughter. Her husband looks so excited and proud of her 🙂

And I agree with Tess (although we were able to watch the match on ESPN2, but wish more people could have seen this historic and inspiring victory).

Emily on

Go Kim! I love that women like her and Dara Torres are showing how strong and capable moms are. I need to be more like them!

Jen Dc on

Wow, does that little girl resemble her Mom! Is that Brian Lynch is the second photo?

@ eternalcanadian: You’re overstating Kim’s “recovery” from the “surprise win.” (1) She was already winning – probably would have won had the match continued. Where’s the “surprise” that required “recovery” in that? (2) The so-called “violent outburst” wasn’t directed at Kim, but at the linesperson, so Kim had nothing at all to fear from it. That’s quite a stretch to work in a criticism of Serena Williams’ behavior.

JJ on

This has got to be one of my favourite sports stories of the year. It was a fantastic comeback and she looks to radiant and happy that it makes it even better. I was rooting for her so I’m really glad she prevailed against the odds. Go Kim!

Chicki on

@eternalcanadian I agree with your post 100% I am (still!) a fan of Serena, but she really has no place in such a great story! Kim should be so proud of her and I hope her daughter draws inspiration from her mom when she’s old enough!

lele on

i do not think it is a stretch to mention serena’s awful behavior. her behavior on the court highlights was a classy neat player kim is – add that she is the first mom to win a major and it makes it even more admirable.

actualsize on

Congratulations Kim! I caught the end of the match yesterday and thought little Jada was adorable toddling across the court. She walks extremely well for an 18-month-old (I didn’t know her age, and assumed she was at least two years old – maybe a future athlete? ;))

Something that I find funny is how much Jada looks alike to Mia Hewitt, considering how close Kim Clijsters came to marrying Lleyton Hewitt. Both are confident, sweet little tow-heads.

actualsize on

her behavior on the court highlights was a classy neat player kim is – add that she is the first mom to win a major and it makes it even more admirable.

Well, technically she is not the first mom, just the first mom in a long time (Yvonne Goolagong was a mother when she won Wimbledon in 1980).

Frank on

Congratulations to Kim!!!! 🙂 All of this couldn’t happen to a better person!!! 🙂 I’m so happy for her and so proud of her!!! GO KIM GO!!!! 🙂

Shannon on

As a fan of Kim for 9 years (and counting!), I am so immensely happy for her. She has such amazing peace, joy and stability in her life that has spilled over to her tennis. Her husband has given her so much support, love and strength, and Jada is just the star of their eyes

Belgian on

Jada looks a lot like both her mommy and her daddy, but she also closely resembles her grandfather who sadly passed away last year. He was an amazing soccer player, but most of us will remember him for how well he took care of his daughters and their careers without ever resorting to typical tennis-dad behavior. Class act.

Nancy on

I love Kim! I love Jade! I love Brian… they are one happy and strong family! Kim is lucky to have such a supporting and loving family for sure because she needs family to support her in order to follow her tennis dreams! I am glad she’s back on the court! :o)

Terri on

I really like Kim Clijsters and was happy to see her win the US Open.

chris on

I can’t believe Serena but Congratulations to Kim, she did amazing for just coming out of retirement.

Tommie on

Congratulations to Kim……. What a great Womens final! They both worked hard and her daughter, Jada is beautiful! What a fanstastic way to end the match. Good Luck to Kim in the future.