DUBAI, UAE -- After much anticipation, former World No.1 Kim Clijsters made her comeback to the WTA at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday, after over seven years away from the professional circuit.

Drawn against another former World No.1, Garbiรฑe Muguruza, Clijsters fought back from a double-break down in the second set and was in the mix for the rest of the clash before losing in a close tilt against this year's Australian Open finalist, 6-2, 7-6(6).

"To know that the work we have put in, yeah, I feel like we're going in the right direction," said an optimistic Clijsters, after the match. "We're not where we want to be yet, but we're going in the right direction. That's really important."

Clijsters's superb performance against one of this season's top competitors impressed a number of her fellow women's tennis legends who sit alongside her in the International Tennis Hall of Fame:ย 

She also caught the eye of Muguruza's coach -- who happens to be a Wimbledon champion who is joining Clijsters in the Hall of Fame this summer!ย 

Overall, tennis players of the past and present were thrilled to see the four-time Grand Slam champion back in action.

2020 Dubai Highlights: Muguruza triumphs in Clijsters comeback match