Clijsters’ had a great career, says ex-fiance Hewitt


Rome : Belgian tennis star Kim Clijster's ex-fiance Lleyton Hewitt said that she retired from international tennis after having a great career.

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Hewitt, who was once engaged to the bubbly Belgian, said that Clijster's surely knew how to make up her own mind.

"She knows her body best. Very rarely do you walk on the court feeling 100 percent. But she's had a great career," Hewitt said here Monday.

Walking away from the game may seem like a huge step, but Hewitt can see the reasoning behind her decision.

"I know how many injuries she's had over her whole career, she's had to play through some tough times."

Clijsters, who is due to marry an American basketball player in July and had planned to play only Eastbourne and Wimbledon on grass, suddenly announced Sunday that she had retired with immediate effect.

"Kim's so well-liked around the world and she's played well in so many tournaments around the world that it would have been nice for her to compete for the rest of the year," said Hewitt.

"It would be just for herself to get enjoyment, and obviously for the crowds as well."

Hewitt made his remarks after crashing out in the first round of the rainy Rome Masters, losing to Spaniard Oscar Hernandez 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 Monday.

"When you come back out after a rain delay, conditions are completely different," said the former world number 1 whose match was interrupted by the weather.

"The courts are a lot heavier and you're playing a lot slower than it was earlier."