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Clijsters returns from retirement

sports Updated: Mar 26, 2009 23:03 IST

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Kim Clijsters is returning to the tennis circuit after two years in retirement, saying she has regained the competitive hunger that took her to the No. 1 ranking.

"I still have that craving," the 25-year-old Belgian said today. "I look forward to the challenge."

Clijsters, who retired in May 2007 to get married and start a family, announced her comeback at the tennis facility in Bree, Belgium, where she has been practicing recently.

She said she has already asked for wild cards for WTA hard-court tournaments in Cincinnati and Toronto in August and the US Open.

"I want to be back at my peak as soon as possible, but I know that is not logical to ask that," Clijsters said. "I will have to take it match by match."

The US Tennis Association is setting aside a spot in the main draw for Clijsters at the US Open, which starts August 31.

"We have been in contact with Kim regarding her comeback and have committed a 2009 US Open wild card to her," tournament director Jim Curley said. "As a past US Open champion and former world No. 1, Kim has been a great ambassador for our sport. We are excited about Kim's return to tennis and look forward to welcoming her to New York this summer.