The Russian’s reaction to Clijsters’ news was rather comical.
“That’s crazy. I looked on Instagram, she’s saying something [in her announcement video] and I turned on the volume, and John McEnroe said, ‘Maybe you come back’, and she’s like ‘hehehe’ then, ‘See you in 2020’. I’m like, ‘Is she the new director of the Championships?’” explained Kuznetsova.
“I didn’t get it, what is she announcing? Kim tournament director? No. And then I listened again… I mean it’s great for the tournaments, it’s great for tennis.”
Kuznetsova, who is just two years younger than Clijsters, has had her fair share of ups and downs, and is well aware of how tricky a comeback can be.
“It’s a new challenge for her. When she came back last time she won a Slam. And I remember when she was leaving [tennis], she said, ‘I’m so sick of doing this rehab’, because she was doing like one hour and a half of rehab of her body every day,” said Kuznetsova.
“So I wonder how she’s going to manage three kids, her rehab, practice and all that, it’s a new challenge and I’m very curious and very respectful to see what’s going to happen.”
Kuznetsova added that the depth in the WTA field nowadays makes for some tough draws all around.
“It’s a different tour. There are no easy matches, but if you’re very consistent and play at a high level, you can be where the top girls are. But you have to really have a high level,” she said.
“It’s no easy matches like it was before, where you have one, two, three rounds easy, and then play. I guess probably that’s where Kim left it. Now it’s more complicated, I think this is the only difference.
“I wonder how it’s going to be, because for me it was difficult to come back. But Kim her comebacks were stronger than mine, so I wonder how she’s going to manage.”