Two-time champion Clijsters was knocked out of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells by Katerina Siniakova after her first appearance in ten years.
Siniakova saw off her opponent in a match ending 6-1, 2-6, 6-2, registering her first singles win since the first round of the US Open.
Clijsters, formally world no one, said: “Last week in Chicago, I started off well, but had a few games where I just really wasn’t into the match.
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“Here too, just looking for my rhythm, my anticipation again, reading my opponents, getting used to playing on a bigger court again, a lot of different things. I fought my way into the match well in that second set, and I kind of put her under pressure a little bit better.
I think overall, there’s definitely moments where I’m feeling really good out there, and there’s moments where I feel too inconsistent. That’s part of this process in general, it’s not going to be a smooth ride, and that’s what I’m going to try to improve every time I’m out there.
Current world no 53 Siniakova took advantage of key points in the game more than her Belgian opponent. Both players held nine break points, with Siniakova converting six of hers to Clijsters’ three.
After the match, Siniakova said: “It was really special, I was actually looking forward [to this], because I remember when I was young, and I was watching her play, and she always did amazing.
So it’s unbelievable I could stay with her on the court.
Siniakova will face another former world no 1 Angelique Kerber in the second round.
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