Kim Clijsters returned to the WTA in February after having last appeared in the second round of the 2012 US Open. The former world No. 1 unfortunately only got to compete in two events, falling in the first-round of Dubai and Monterrey, before COVID-19 halted the tour.
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Doubles Wildcards: Clijsters, Baptiste team up for US Open
Published Aug 20, 2020
It's no surprise that the three-time US Open champion received a wild card into this year's singles draw as her comeback continues. But it is a surprise that the 37-year-old is also playing doubles alongside 18-year-old Hailey Baptiste after the pair received a wild card. It will be the first time Clijsters has played doubles at Flushing Meadows since 2003.
It won't be the duo's first time on the court together. Clijsters and Baptiste recently took on Eugenie Bouchard and Bethanie Mattek-Sands during World TeamTennis in West Virginia. The NY Empire teammates lost 5-2 and Baptiste was only filling in as an alternate.
Earlier this year, Baptiste reached the doubles final of Kentucky's W100 ITF with Whitney Osuigwe. The American teen also appeared on the singles court at last week's Top Seed Open in Lexington, but fell in her opener to Usue Maitane Arconada. She'll be playing singles at the US Open thanks to a wild card.
Baptiste and Clijsters are one of four women's teams to be granted wildcards into the major. Defending champions Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens will headline the 32-team doubles draw, but many strong pairings will attempt to steal their crown.
Coco Gauff and Caty McNally, who won last year's Citi Open and Luxembourg event, will be vying for their first Grand Slam title. There's also Taylor Townsend and Asia Muhammad returning to action after they claimed their first title together in January in Auckland with a win over Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki.
All players were accepted this year based on their doubles ranking only. In previous years, the better of each player's singles or doubles ranking granted the player's entry into the 64-team draw.
On the men's side, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah will look to defend their 2019 US Open title.
Men's doubles wild cards were also announced on Wednesday and they include Chris Eubanks and former UCLA standout Mackenzie McDonald. The Americans haven't competed on the doubles court together since 2017.
Ryan and Christian Harrison also received a wild card entry. The brothers played together on three occasions in 2020, only pulling out one match win. They teamed up for one match for the San Diego Aviators at World TeamTennis in July.
Out of the many Americans that are set to compete at the 2020 US Open, it's hard not to notice one iconic duo is missing.
Five-time US Open champions Bob and Mike Bryan are not entered into the event in which they had announced last November they would retire at. No official statements from the Bryans have been made on what or if their retirement plans have changed.