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Kim Clijsters has been awarded a wildcard for the upcoming BNP Paribas Open

Kim Clijsters

Washington, Feb 28 (UITV/IANS) Former world No.1 and four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters has been awarded a wildcard for the upcoming BNP Paribas Open.

Clijsters, who announced her return to professional tennis late last year after a seven-year hiatus from the Tour, will be playing in just her third tournament back. The 36-year-old will be returning to the desert -- where she is a two-time champion (2003, 2005) -- for the first time since 2011.

The 36-year-old Belgian spent 19 weeks as the No. 1 player in the world before retiring for the first time in 2007 to start a family. Clijsters returned to the Tour in 2009 following the birth of her first child and won the US Open that August in just her third tournament back.

She went on to win two more Grand Slam titles (2010 US Open, 2011 Australian Open) and reclaim the No.1 ranking before retiring for a second time in 2012.

Now a mother of three, Clijsters launched the third phase of her career at Dubai last week, and will also play at the Monterrey Open before returning to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for the 2020 BNP Paribas Open.

The event will be held between March 9 and 22 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.