Belgium’s Kim Clijsters has revealed how the Covid-19 pandemic put a spanner in the works for her comeback plans.

The 38-year-old came out of retirement for the second time in February 2020. She played two tournaments – the Dubai Open and Monterrey Open – before the tour was halted due to the pandemic.

She then played the 2020 US Open before undergoing knee surgery and contracting Covid, only to return a year later at the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic.

“When I started this, I wanted to give it a really good shot for two years – those two years will end at the end of this year,” Clijsters told reporters after losing 1-6, 6-2, 2-6 to Czech Katerina Siniakova in the first round at Indian Wells.

“Obviously Covid kind of changed everything up a little bit, timing-wise. Obviously for a lot of players that wasn’t fun but made it a little tougher also for me.

“On the other hand I was home, I didn’t have to worry about being away and traveling without the kids or putting them in the bubble with me and those kinds of things.

“When I started it was two years – give myself a chance for two years to see how I can work my way back into a good rhythm and playing the tennis that I would like to play.”

Since her return in February 2020, Clijsters has lost all five WTA matches she’s played.

The former world number one received a wild card to play at Indian Wells, and us currently ranked 1 476 in the world.

She first became world No 1 in August 2003 and won four Grand Slam singles titles – the US Open three times (2005, 2009 and 2010) and the 2011 Australian Open.

She also won the Indian Wells event in 2003 and 2005.

Picture: Kim Clijsters and Katerina Siniakova – WTA/Twitter