© Ella Ling

Wimbledon - Kim Clijsters

Wimbledon diary - Legends take to the stage


Kim Clijsters may have played her last Wimbledon match on Monday, losing to Angelique Kerber of Germany, but the Belgian was back at the All England Club today with her husband Brian and with her daughter Jada happily riding around on her scooter. Clijsters popped into the referee’s office to complete some formalities, including, no doubt, signing for her prize money and perhaps leaving a nice signature for a few lucky people.

At 29, Clijsters admits her body is not up to full-time tennis anymore but it would be great if she could somehow win a medal at the Olympics next month, when she will be playing her penultimate tournament before retiring for good. Her first retirement lasted 20 months but this time she won’t be coming back and hopes to have more children. Her last event will be the US Open, where she has won three times, and though it is a bit fanciful to suggest she might win again, it would be a fantastic way to go. She will be missed.

The seniors events are due to begin at Wimbledon today, or the “invitational doubles” in All England Club speak, the perfect chance for fans of a slightly older vintage to see some of the stars of the not so distant past, almost all of whom are still fiercely competitive, but play with some humour too and give the crowds something to really enjoy.

In the men’s event, people can see the likes of Henri Leconte and Mansour Bahrami, Pat Cash and Mark Woodforde, Patrick McEnroe and Joakim Nystrom, Peter McNamara and Paul McNamee, as well as Brad Gilbert and Darren Cahill (Team ESPN). The women’s event is even more star-studded, with Martina Hingis partnering Lindsay Davenport and nine-time champion Martina Navratilova and Jana Novotna joining forces. It remains incredibly popular and it’s always nice to see if they can still play. (They can).