“Got a Lot of Shit for It”: Kim Clijsters Credits Venus and Serena Williams for Setting Trend of Limited Schedules

Published 06/20/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
Serena Williams (R) of the USA celebrates with her father Richard Williams and sister Venus Williams after her Ladies’ Singles final match against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Former Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters has lauded Venus and Serena Williams for setting the trend of limited schedules to prolong their careers. Though the Williams sisters copped a lot of stick from the tennis fraternity in their initial years for the decision to pick and choose events, the trend did catch on in a big way in the later years.


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The conversation started after Amanda Guinzburg, a writer for the New Yorker, drew reference to Rafael Nadal’s decision to withdraw from this year’s Wimbledon Championships and the Tokyo Olympics to suggest that it was Naomi Osaka who showed the way on how to prolong one’s career.

Kim Clijsters says Serena and Venus Williams took a lot of stick for their stand


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Clijsters said that Osaka had started a welcome trend of listening to one’s body before deciding what and how much to play.

Tagging Nadal’s tweet, announcing his withdrawal from the two marquee events, Guinzburg wrote, “Seems to me that Naomi Osaka started a very healthy trend of listening to one’s body.”

However, former Australian tennis star Rennae Stubbs corrected the writer in reply to her tweet, saying, “It’s been happening for a while.”

A tennis fan was more forthright in her reply to the journalist, as she recalled how Venus and Serena were run down initially for playing selective tournaments and it turned into a fad later, a certified way for players to keep themselves fit and firing for longer.

Joining the conversation, Clijsters said the present-day athletes, including Osaka. are benefitting from a stand the siblings took long back.

Replying to Guinzburg’s tweet, the four-time Grand Slam champion said it is precisely because of the shape that the Williams sisters wanted their careers to take that the tennis world is still able to savor the sight of them in action.

Tagging former Australian tennis star Rennae Stubbs to her reply, Clijsters wrote, Venus and Serena started it I think…got a lot of shit for it but it’s the reason why we are still able to enjoy their tennis. No Stubbsy?”

To that, the former Aussie star replied, “100% Kimmy”.

Men’s stars, including Roger Federer, have followed Serena and Venus’s Lead

In both the men’s and women’s fields of the game, selective schedules have almost become the order of the day, especially when it comes to playing high-intensity matches in the new normal.

Watch This Link: Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic Give Tennis Lessons to Their Kids Ahead of Wimbledon Championships 2021


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Serena Williams of the United States is congratulated by her sister and opponent Venus Williams of the United States following their ladies singles third round match on Day Five of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

After more than a year out of tennis to recover from a second knee surgery, Roger Federer has come out with a list of events he wants to feature in this year.


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With his career going into a slump after the high of a maiden Grand Slam title at last year’s US Open, Dominic Thiem also took an extended break from the game to come back fresh and recharged.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.