MASON, Ohio – Former World No. 1 and US Open champion Kim Clijsters was victorious in her return to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour as she defeated No. 12 seed Marion Bartoli 6-4 6-3 on opening night at the 2009 Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open.
“I was really excited to be out there,” Clijsters said. “It's been so long that I've been practicing for this. There were some events that I was a part of, but this was my main goal. For it to finally be here, it was exciting.”
Clijsters cruised to a 4-0 start in the match, but Bartoli, a winner in Stanford just over a week ago, fought back to level the match at 4-all.
The Belgian then righted the ship by holding serve to love and then broke the Frenchwoman to claim the opening set.
In the second set, Clijsters got a break in the fourth game, and it was all the advantage she would need as she was able to win in 1:22.
The match was the first since Clijsters announced her retirement on May 6, 2007. Since retiring she’s had a daughter, Jada, who is now 17 months old.
Like many working Moms, leaving for the office was hard for Clijsters and her family.
“Yeah, (Jada) was crying, ‘Mama, mama,’” Clijsters said. “It's fun. It's just a very comfortable feeling knowing when you're out there that she's in bed sleeping quietly, doing her thing.”
Clijsters will return to action on Tuesday in doubles with countrywoman Yanina Wickmayer against Americans Melanie Oudin and Shenay Perry. Patty Schnyder, the 2005 Cincinnati champion, awaits Clijsters in the second round of singles.
Here’s a look at the full results for Monday.
Singles - First Round
 Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d Kaia Kanepi (EST) 63 76(2)
 Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d [Q] Melanie Oudin (USA) 26 61 61
[WC] Kim Clijsters (BEL) d  Marion Bartoli (FRA) 64 63
Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) d  Virginie Razzano (FRA) 63 36 64
Roberta Vinci (ITA) d [Q] Tatjana Malek (GER) 64 61
Patty Schnyder (SUI) d Gisela Dulko (ARG) 64 60
Lucie Safarova (CZE) d Iveta Benesova (CZE) 63 76(7)
[Q] Olga Govortsova (BLR) d Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 61 63
Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) d Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) 60 63
Melina Czink (HUN) d Alize Cornet (FRA) 63 62
Anna Chakvetadze (RUS) d Elena Vesnina (RUS) 75 63
[Q] Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) d Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 62 62
Women's Doubles - First Round
 Virginia Ruano Pascual (ESP) / Jie Zheng (CHN) d Jill Craybas (USA) / Abigail Spears (USA) 64 63
 Nuria Llagostera Vives (ESP) / Maria Martinez Sanchez (ESP) d Klaudia Jans (POL) / Alicja Rosolska (POL) 75 46 10-8
 Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) / Nadia Petrova (RUS) d Iveta Benesova (CZE) / Maria Kondratieva (RUS) 61 67(6) 10-6
Ipek Senoglu (TUR) / Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) d Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) / Olga Savchuk (UKR) 63 62
Vera Dushevina (RUS) / Anastasia Rodionova (RUS) d Liga Dekmeijere (LAT) / Julie Ditty (USA) 75 60
Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) / Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d Lucie Safarova (CZE) / Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) 67(5) 64 10-4