Clijsters bids farewell after mixed doubles loss

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Sep 02 2012 09:58 AM | Updated as of Sep 02 2012 05:58 PM

NEW YORK - Belgium's Kim Clijsters bid what she vows will be a second and final farewell to her tennis-playing career on Saturday with a mixed doubles loss at the US Open.

Clijsters and American Bob Bryan were defeated by Brazilian Bruno Soares and Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 3-6, 12-10 in a second-round match on the Grandstand stadium.

"It was an honour to be part of this lifestyle and this sport. I started when I was four and had so many dreams come true," said Clijsters.

"But life goes on. Tonight was one of the reasons why I wanted to play mixed doubles. Tennis will always be a part of my life and I will always follow it.

"I have won many beautiful things and have so many friendships but now I have a new chapter with my family."

Clijsters, who won three US Open singles titles, said earlier this year that this would be her final season and the US Open her farewell event.

She was ousted from the singles tournament in the second round by Britain's Laura Robson and in her first women's doubles match alongside compatriot Kirsten Flipkens.

Her final shot as a tennis player was a netted forehand which gave Soares and Makarova the victory.

"It was a true honour to play with Kim," said Bryan. "She's a true champion and has shown whey she is a legend.

"Sorry to let you down tonight, but you played so well."

© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse