Kim Clijsters hit another detour in her comeback to pro tennis, losing in three sets in her first-round match Thursday at the BNP Paribas Open.
She was beaten 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 by Katerina Siniakova, a three-time major doubles champion from Czech Republic. Siniakova teamed with countrywoman Barbora Krejcikova to win a gold medal in doubles at the Tokyo Olympics.
Clijsters, a 38-year-old Hall of Famer, also lost in the first round at the WTA Tour stop in Chicago last week. The four-time major champion and mother of three originally came back last year, but her attempt was interrupted by knee surgery last October and a bout with COVID-19 in January.
Clijsters committed nine double faults against Siniakova, who converted six of nine break points in the match. Clijsters received a wild-card into the tournament she won in 2005 and 2003. She was runner-up to Serena Williams in 2001.
Former world No. 1 Andy Murray opens play Friday night against French left-hander Adrian Mannarino. Murray is working his way back from hip surgery and received a wild card.
U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu also begins Friday, taking on Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.
Americans Lauren Davis and Alison Riske advanced to the second round with straight-set victories. Davis beat Nuria Parrizas-Diaz 6-2, 7-5 and Riske defeated Liang En-shuo 6-2, 6-2.
On the men’s side, six Americans advanced at the combined ATP and WTA event.
Marcos Giron defeated Botic van de Zandschulp 6-7 (9), 6-2, 6-4, and Maxime Cressy got by Laslo Dere 6-7 (3), 6-1, 7-5. Tennys Sandgren beat Thiago Monteiro 6-4, 6-3, and Mackenzie McDonald defeated James Duckworth, 6-3, 6-3. Tommy Paul beat 40-year-old Feliciano Lopez, 6-3, 7-6 (3). Frances Tiafoe moved on with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Benoit Paire.
McDonald next plays top-seeded Danill Medvedev, the U.S. Open runner-up. Cressy plays 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman and Sandgren plays No. 21 Cameron Norrie.
Veteran Sam Querrey lost to Daniel Altmaier, 6-2, 6-4, J.J. Wolf lost to Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 and Steve Johnson was beaten by 22-year-old Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-5.
Kei Nishikori beat Joao Sousa 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 and Philipp Kohlschreiber lost to Taro Daniel 6-2, 6-4.