In honor of upcoming Mother's Day, we are celebrating three women who triumphed in tennis while having children, starting with Kim Clijsters, the most famous tennis playing mother of the past few decades. In 2011, Kim was at the top of her game, ranked number one in the world. That was also the year she won the Australian Open—posing for the camera with her baby daughter in one hand and Grand Slam trophy in the other.
In addition to her Australian Open win, Kim Clijsters won the U.S. Open in 2005, 2009 and 2010. In 2003 she won both the French Open and Wimbledon in women's doubles tennis with partner Ai Sugiyama from Japan.
Kim Clijsters is the third mother to win a Grand Slam title in the Open Era and only the second mother in history to win three Grand Slam tournaments. Then, in 2007, Kim took a break from tennis. She got married, had a baby, then came back to win the 2009 US Open.
In 1980 Evonne Goolagong from Australia defeated Chris Evert at Wimbledon. Goolagong skipped her 1977 season to have her daughter Kelly. Her 1980 Wimbledon win marked her seventh Grand Slam triumph--she won the Australian Open in 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1977 (Goolagong won the 1977 Australian Open 2 in December 1977 while Kerry Melville Reid won the Australian Open 1 in January 1977). For each of those tournaments, she also won the Australian Open Women's Doubles Championship (1971 with partner Australian Margaret Court, 1974 & 75 with American Peggy Michel, and in 1976 & Dec 1977 with Australian Helen Gourlay Cawley). She took home the top trophy for Wimbledon in 1971 and 1980 and in 1974, she won the Wimbledon doubles championship with partner American Peggy Michel. In 1971 she also won the women's singles championship in the French Open. The following year, 1972, she won the French Open Mixed Doubles tournament with partner Australian Kim Warwick.
Another Australian mother, Margaret Court, was the first woman during the Open era to win all four Grand Slam singles in the same calendar year. While pregnant with her first child, Daniel, she lost the Wimbledon championship match to Evonne Goolagong. However, in 1973 she came back with a vengeance, winning the 1973 Australian, French and U.S. Opens.
Any mother knows how hard being a mother is, however, these dynamic women were both mothers and at the top of their game in tennis, winning Grand Slams and often achieving number one status… amazing doesn't begin to describe them.
Looking for Mother's Day gifts? Try these Jet Pac tennis bags, women's tennis shoes and women's tennis apparel.