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Sun 16 Feb 2020 08:10 AM

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Kim Clijsters to face Garbine Muguruza on tough return in Dubai

Kim Clijsters, a four-time Grand Slam singles champion, has not competed on Tour since the 2012 US Open

Kim Clijsters to face Garbine Muguruza on tough return in Dubai

Belgian tennis player Kim Clijsters. Image: AFP

Kim Clijsters faces an unexpectedly tough first match on her comeback after seven years out in Dubai this week - against Australian Open finalist Garbine Muguruza.

Clijsters, 36, had been due to play Kiki Bertens but the eighth-ranked Dutch player withdrew after reaching the Sunday final in St Petersburg.

Her absence moved tournament wild card Muguruza into the draw opposite Clijsters, the four-time Grand Slam singles champion and mother-of-three who is making a return after last competing at the 2012 US Open.

Spain's Muguruza, a two-time Major winner, becomes the ninth seed and will take on Clijsters in the first round at the Aviation Club.

Top seed Simona Halep and number two Karolina Pliskova both have byes into the second round.

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