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Catching Up with Kim Clijsters

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New mommyhood has changed the tennis champion.

kim and jada clijsters
Momlogic sat down with championship tennis star and Fila spokeswoman Kim Clijsters to find out what life is like for her off the court. She tells us being a mom is a love match.

Momlogic: How hard was your decision to leave the game two years ago to start a family?

Kim Clijsters: It wasn't hard at all, it felt right at the time -- and it was the most enriching time of my life. Coming back was the hard part; I did hardly any tough exercise for 18 months, as I was busy taking care of my daughter and father [who was suffering from lung cancer].

ML: Was it tough for you to get back to work when you started playing tennis again? How long after you had your baby did you start training again?

Kim: Hitting the ball came back pretty quickly, but the movement took a lot longer. I started training again after my dad passed away in early January, so about 11 months after Jada was born.

ML: How has motherhood changed your game?

Kim: I think motherhood has made me more organized, as I have to have good quality training time so I can spend as much time as possible with my family. I think it's also made me more focused and tougher in certain situations.

ML: You're the first mother to win a Grand Slam title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won Wimbledon in 1980. How proud are you of that accomplishment?

Kim: I was very proud when they told me I was the first mother to win a major in almost 30 years, and Evonne Cawley was a terrific player and person.

ML: Did Serena Williams' much-publicized U.S. Open outburst affect your matches at all?

Kim: Serena's outburst didn't affect me at all; there was still one more match to play -- the final, the next day.

ML: How was it having your daughter Jada with you at the U.S. Open?

Kim: Having Jada in New York relaxed me, as I played with her a lot on my off days, and helped keep my mind off tennis the whole time. It really hit me after I won, seeing her running around the court -- how special all this was.

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