Clijsters beaten in latest comeback match

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Former world No.1 Kim Clijsters, in her latest comeback to tennis, has suffered defeat at the Chicago Fall Classic while Maddison Inglis was the only Australian to advance to the second round.

Belgian 38-year-old Clijsters, who accepted a wild card into the hardcourt event, was highly competitive in her first match of the season but misfired at key moments in a 6-3 5-7 6-3 loss to Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei.

The results means four-time grand slam champion Clijsters remains without a win in four events since her comeback to the WTA Tour last year.

Inglis fought back from a set down to overcome American Caroline Dolehide 4-6 6-2 6-4 with her reward a match-up against third-seeded Swiss Belinda Bencic, the Olympic champion.

The day was not as good for Inglis's fellow Australians Ajla Tomljanovic and Lizette Cabrera, who managed to win just three games each in their respective 6-2 6-1 losses to Marketa Vondrousova and Shelby Rogers.

Clijsters was returning to action for her first match on tour since a first-round loss at last year's US Open - her initial comeback interrupted by knee surgery in October and when she got COVID-19 this January.

She made a quick start against Hsieh as she raced out to a 3-0 lead but dropped the next eight games to go behind.

But Clijsters came back from a break down to force a third set where Hsieh proved the steadier of the two in a match that lasted two hours and 18 minutes.

"Some good things, some bad things, and inconsistency," Clijsters said.

"But I think for me the most important thing is that, what I talked with my coach and my trainer about, my fitness coach, was physically being able to get through these matches without big concerns.

"That was the main goal."

Clijsters said she is hoping to play more matches this season.

"I would like to play Indian Wells if I can, if the body holds up good," she said.

"So, at the moment, it's all fine."

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