Kim a former World No. 1 in both singles and doubles, was born in the Flemish Region of Belgium. She is the daughter of Lei Clijsters, a former international footballer, and Els Vandecaetsbeek, a former national gymnastics champion. She had won the Belgian Junior Championship by the age of 11 and joined an academy in Antwerp two years later. During the beginning of her career, she finished as runner-up in the 1998 Wimbledon junior event, finishing 11th in the year-end singles ranking. In the same year in doubles, Clijsters won the French Open title with Jelena Dokić, defeating Elena Dementieva and Nadia Petrova in the final, as well as the US Open with Eva Dyrberg, defeating former partner Dokic in the final.
She won 41 singles and 11 doubles titles. She won four Grand Slam singles titles: 3 at the US Open, in 2005, 2009, and 2010 and one at the Australian Open in 2011. She was also runner-up in four Grand Slam singles tournaments and won the WTA Tour Championships singles title in 2002, 2003, and 2010. In doubles, she won the French Open and Wimbledon titles in 2003. She was also runner-up in two Grand Slam doubles tournaments, one WTA Championships doubles tournament, and one Grand Slam mixed doubles tournament. In 2001, Clijsters was part of the Belgium Fed Cup winning team. In June 2011, TIME magazine named her one of the "30 Legends of Women's Tennis: Past, Present and Future".
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