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Clijsters Draws Muguruza In Dubai Comeback

Kim Clijsters will have to hit the comeback road ready to run.

The former world No. 1 will face two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza in her long-awaited return at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next week. Clijsters initially drew world No. 8 Kiki Bertens, however Bertens, who contests her second straight St. Petersburg final today, withdrew from Dubai. 

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Wild card Muguruza assumes Bertens' spot in the field and will face Clijsters after officials unveiled a loaded Dubai draw today.

The 36-year-old Clijsters will end a seven-year absence from the sport in the desert.

Clijsters, who officially retired at the 2012 US Open, was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2017. 

The four-time Grand Slam champion initially planned to retun at last month's Australian Open, but suffered a "severe tear" in her right MCL in November, which forced her withdrawal from Melbourne. 

Following Dubai, Clijsters is scheduled to play Monterrey, Indian Wells and Charleston though she's said her schedule will be fluid depending on how her body responds to the rigors of match play.

Following the setback with her knee injury, Clijsters said she’s been inspired by fans encouraging her.

“I was so overwhelmed by people’s reactions,” Clijsters told The Telegraph, adding some fans have told her “you have no idea how much this means to us.”

Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin takes on Hobart champion Elena Rybakina, who leads the WTA Tour in victories (15-2 record) and aces (101) this season and rallied into her third final of the year in St. Petersburg today.

Photo credit: US Open Facebook