Kim Clijsters announces her return to professional tennis
Clijsters partnered John McEnroe in a doubles exhibition under the roof of No.1 Court in May (Image source: Zimbio/Getty Images Europe)

Kim Clijsters has sensationally announced her return to professional tennis for the third time in her career.

The Belgian, proud owner of four Grand Slam singles titles, called quits on her career for the second time in 2012 after battling constant injuries.

But in a powerful video in which tweeted to her followers on Thursday afternoon, the 36-year-old is prepared for one last crack on the professional circuit.

She said: “I am so excited to announce my second comeback to the WTA Tour.

“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-years-old I feel I am too young to be retired and, with so many inspirational athletes and moms competing, I can’t wait to get back onto the match court and see what’s possible after having three children.”

Third time lucky

Clijsters has been training since the beginning of the year in preparation for a potential return and she was quietly pleased with her level of fitness at the singles exhibition in May on No.1 Court at Wimbledon.

The Belgian won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2005, but injuries hastened her retirement two years later.

She would return to the tour in 2009 and immediately captured her second US Open, famously defeating Serena Williams in the semi-finals in which the American threatened a lines judge. 

Clijsters successfully defended her title in New York, before lifting her fourth major crown at the Australian Open in 2011. The success would prove to be her last piece of silverware before she announced her second retirement at the end of 2012, falling in the second round of the US Open to Laura Robson.