Tennis players who won Grand Slams after having children

Let us look at the mothers who made a successful comeback after giving birth.

Kim Klijsters file photo; Credit: Kim Klijsters Twitter page

The physical demands required to survive in top flight tennis is beyond explanation. With fierce competition for places, it is mandatory to stay in the best health possible to survive a grueling season. When fully fit players struggle to maintain their consistency at the highest level, one can only imagine the difficulties a mother returning back from giving birth to her child will experience. Getting back the playing rhythm after the pregnancy break is one thing but going back to the same fitness level like before is a different ball game. There are few mothers who have overcome the tough odds to win Grand Slam titles. Let us look at those inspirational mothers:

Margaret Court

The former Australian star has won everything possible in the tennis circuit. With 64 Grand Slam titles to her name, Margaret has won 24 singles, 19 women’s doubles and 21 mixed doubles trophies. But it wasn’t always an easy ride. Only 21 of her 24 singles titles came before she became pregnant. She gave birth to her first child in March 1972.

After returning to the sport, she went on to win the Australian Open, French Open and US Open titles in 1973 before giving birth to her second child in 1974. Margaret’s second comeback was less successful as the superstar eventually retired from the game in 1977.

Evonne Goolagong

The right-handed player was one of the top players of her generation. Evonne had tocompete with the likes of Martina Navratilova and her fellow compatriot Margaret Court to make a name for herself. She did it admirably well, winning 14 Grand Slam titles. Seven of which came in singles while she won six in women’s doubles, and one in mixed doubles.

The former Australian had won only five singles titles before giving birth to her first child in 1977. She made a quick comeback, winning the Australian Open title later that year. She had to wait three years to win her next Grand Slam in Wimbledon, 1980. In the Open Era, she remains the only woman to win the prestigious Wimbledon trophy after giving birth.

Kim Clijsters

The Belgian star was one of the fiercest challengers the sport has ever since. The ‘never give-up’ attitude helped her draw praise from various corners of the world. Clijsters won her first Grand Slam in the 2005 US Open. But her stop gap career owing to multiple injuries, never picked up. She left the sport in 2007 at the age of 23.

After giving birth to her first child, she made her comeback in 2009. In her third tournament after returning back, Clijsters won the US Open title, defeating the in-form Caroline Wozniacki in the final. The Belgian then defended her title in 2010 and also won the Australian Open in 2011. In the process, she became the first mother to be ranked World No. 1 by the WTA.

Sportslumo Desk

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