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Meet tennis legend Kim Clijsters

Expat Living chats with former world number one tennis player KIM CLIJSTERS, on the eve of her first ever trip to Singapore in October, where she will be attending the 2017 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global as a Legend Ambassador. Tennis fans will be able to meet Kim and other legends – who, this year, will also include Lindsay Davenport, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Iva Majoli, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Monica Seles – along with current stars of the game, at  Racquet Club. This is the event’s official hospitality pavilion, offering not just awesome tennis action on Centre Court from premium seating, but five-star dining, free-flow beverages, networking opportunities and more.

Kim Clijsters, second from right (photo: Getty Images)
Kim Clijsters (second from right), with WTA Vice President Melissa Pine, last year’s Singles Champion Dominika Cibulkova, and WTA CEO Steve Simon (photo: Getty Images)

What are you looking forward to the most in the upcoming WTA Finals?

I’m really looking forward to watching some great matches because obviously it really is the cream of the crop at the WTA Finals. Last year, I stayed up to watch it on TV, and seeing Dominika Cibulkova getting so emotional when she won, it was so moving and really brought back memories of my life on tour.

I was so honoured when the WTA invited me to be an ambassador for the WTA Finals, so it was a no-brainer to be involved in the biggest event on the tour and to be able to share my experiences with everyone in Singapore.

What do you think about the level of women’s tennis today?

It’s such an amazing time in women’s tennis today, and personally I’m so happy to see more mothers coming back on tour after having children.

I’m really excited that Victoria Azarenka is competing again after having her son, and Serena is about to become a mother too. Parenting and giving birth; there is nothing in the world that quite compares to it. After I had Jada, I was very happy, but when I got back on court, the motivation came back stronger than ever before. It’s so great to see more mothers coming back to compete because it’s not easy and there is so much to deal with, so it’s proof of how strong women are; I’m definitely proud of how far women in tennis have come today.

What’s the most memorable moment in your career?

The WTA Finals has always been a very important tournament in my career because I won it before I won a grand slam. It was my first big result and I was able to beat the best players that were on tour at that time. Winning the WTA Finals helped me a lot with my confidence every time I played in it was always a unique experience. I feel very lucky that I was able to share those moments when I was younger with my father. I also played and won in Doha, after having my daughter Jada, so that was very special to be able to achieve that.

What do you like to do beyond playing tennis?

I’m a mother of three wonderful children, so of course I love spending time with them. I have a nine year-old, a three-year-old and a nine-month-old, so my life now is pretty busy even though I’ve retired from tennis.

My eldest daughter Jada is at the age where she watches YouTube so she has seen herself on court celebrating with me when I won the US Open; she’s tells her friends “That’s me! My mom won this big trophy!” She asked me the other day if I can start playing tennis again so she doesn’t have to go to school anymore and she can go back on tour with me. So, whenever we can, it’s great to be able to take a holiday with my family and spend quality time with them.

What will you be up to during your free time when you’re here for the WTA Finals?

I’ve never been to Singapore before so it’s going to be great to be able to explore a new city. Dominika was telling me about it when we met in Stuttgart, so I’m definitely excited to try out some of her recommendations! I love seafood, so I’ll be looking out for some great restaurants to check out.

Dominika Cibulkova lifts the 2016 trophy
Dominika Cibulkova lifts the 2016 Billie Jean King Trophy (photo: Lagardère Sports)

The 2017 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global runs from 22-29 October, with the top 8 women’s singles players and doubles teams competing for a record US$7 million prize purse, and the Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova trophies. Book tickets and session passes through the official event website (WTAFinals.com).

To elevate your experience, join Racquet Club by emailing sg.hospitality@lagardere-se.com or calling 6826 2718. This award-winning hospitality experience allows guests to wine and dine, strengthen business relationships, meet their tennis heroes, and catch the action from the best seats in the house, the baseline seats. There’s also access to the ACES Lounge with free-flow drinks, a dedicated welcome area and a private walkway to seats.


The Racquet Club
The Racquet Club (photo: Lagardère Sports)

Read on for more about upcoming events in Singapore.