Kim Clijsters suffers defeat to Muguruza on encouraging WTA Tour comeback
Kim Clijsters was denied a dream return to the WTA Tour as she was beaten in straight sets by Garbine Muguruza at the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Muguruza, runner-up at the recent Australian Open, triumphed 6-2 7-6 (8-6) in one hour and 37 minutes on Monday.
Playing her first match since losing to Laura Robson in the second round of the US Open in August 2012, the Belgian was rusty at times as she racked up 10 double faults and gave up 15 break points.
However, Clijsters' fight and impressive groundstrokes in the second set would have given her plenty of hope for the months ahead.Read: Brilliant Bertens retains St Petersburg title
Clijsters' opponent changed when Kiki Bertens withdrew from the event after winning in St. Petersburg, but in-form Muguruza represented a similarly daunting first task in her comeback contest.
The 36-year-old was broken in a 10-point opening game and dropped serve again later in the first set.
She forced her first break points as Muguruza served for the opener at 5-2 but could not convert three opportunities as the Spaniard held.
A slow start also impacted four-time major champion Clijsters in the second set, as Muguruza claimed an immediate break and then struck once more in her opponent's next service game to move 3-0 up.
Clijsters showed grit and broke Muguruza for the first time in game four and later superbly claimed a second break to level matters, eventually forcing a tie-break.
She won the first two points of the breaker only for her younger rival to go on a streak of four that included a superb cross-court forehand winner.
At 6-5 in front, Muguruza hit a forehand long on her opening match point but she ultimately sealed victory with her next opportunity thanks to an unreturned serve
More News in tennis
Kim Clijsters produced a remarkable display in her first WTA match in nearly eight years, which ended in a 6-2 7-6 (8-6) defeat by Australian Open finalist Garbine Muguruza in Dubai. The Belgian, 36, went toe-to-toe
In a battle between former World No.1 players, Garbiñe Muguruza ousted Kim Clijsters in the Belgian's first match since 2012, earning a first-round victory at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. DUBAI, UAE -- A hotly
More than 200 children from schools across the UAE took to the courts on Monday on the first day of play to kick-start the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the WTA Tour
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, will arrive at the ATP Dubai Duty Free Men's Tennis Championships as a resident of the United Arab Emirates, according to the Gulf News. Portugal international soccer star