Congratulations to tennis star, and mom, Kim Clijsters for winning the US Open women’s singles championships. Clijsters, who won the last time she played the tournament in 2005, was unseeded but obviously not unknown. A former champion and former number 1, she retired for a couple of years to start a family. She returned with a bang. She is the first mom to win a Grand Slam tournament in almost 30 years.
Hopefully this is something we will see more of – women continuing their pro and amateur careers and participating in sports – and that the industry will be supportive. Title IX rightfully gave more opportunity to girls to play sports and their competitive fire and talents were soon on display. Fighting a lot of battles – many are still ongoing – women’s sports at the professional level are becoming more common.
But as these women further their professional careers in sports, they, like so many women in every other job field, are confronting the work/life balance issue. It will be this generation of female athletes like Kim Clijsters, Candace Parker, Brandi Chastain and Lisa Leslie that serve as models for others. Hopefully the sports industry – fans, sponsors, coaches, teammates, etc. – will understand and support that important part of the lives.
If Roger “Dad” Federer wins today, there should be a nice celebration with him, Clijsters, their kids and an appearance by Elmo.