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Clijsters is relishing her return to action aged 36

Back again: Kim Clijsters is coming out of retirement
Back again: Kim Clijsters is coming out of retirement

By Robert Jones

Former World No.1 Kim Clijsters has announced that she will make a second career comeback to tennis at the age of 36.

Clijsters, who won four Grand Slam titles before her most recent retirement in 2012, took to Instagram to reveal her intentions to join the WTA Tour when it reaches Australia in January.

Owing to the status gained from her past accomplishments, the mother-of-three will benefit from unlimited wildcards.

"I'm so excited to announce that I will be making my second comeback to the WTA Tour," the Belgian said on her official website.

"While there is a lot of work ahead of me in the next four months, my biggest motivation is the personal challenge involved - both physically and mentally. I want to test myself again.

"At 36 I feel like I'm too young to be retired and, with so many inspirational athletes and mums competing, I can't wait to get back on the court and see what's possible after having three children."

Clijsters, who turned professional in 1997, has stepped away from the sport twice, initially retiring in 2007 due to persistent injury troubles.

Following a two-year hiatus, and the birth of her daughter, Clijsters returned to action in 2009, relying on wildcards to regain her ranking.

The Belgian swiftly reclaimed the US Open title she had first won in 2005 by defeating Caroline Wozniacki in the 2009 showpiece.

Clijsters then successfully defended the title in 2010, before adding an Australian Open victory to her CV the following year.

A second retirement was announced in 2012, this time owing to family commitments.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray will leave it until the last minute before deciding whether to enter the ATP Cup in January after admitting being conflicted.

The 32-year-old, who is about to embark on a three-week stint in Asia as he continues his comeback from hip surgery, has until 5pm today to commit to the inaugural tournament in Australia.

Murray would need to use his protected ranking of world number two to get Great Britain into the team competition - where each tie has two singles and a doubles rubber - as 32nd-ranked Kyle Edmund is unlikely to be high enough to qualify.

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