First came Kim Clijsters.
Then, Tatiana Golovin.
And now, add American Lisa Raymond to the list of accomplished (and retired) players who are coming back to the courts.
Raymond, now 46, played her last doubles matches at the 2015 US Open.
She has since become a coach, including for the U.S. Fed Cup squad.
But now, she is coaching countrywoman Allie Kiick.
And this week, at a $60,000 ITF tournament in Asunción, Paraguay, they are making their debut together.
They play their first match on Tuesday, against Barbara Gatica of Chile and Rebeca Pereira of Brazil.
Reached in Paraguay, Raymond told Tennis.Life she and Kiick plan to play some doubles in 2020. Part of it is that the coach wants Kiick to play more doubles, period; the other part, she said, is that it will be fun, and she has a few more things she wants to accomplish on the doubles court.
Raymond is six months out from ACL surgery on her knee, so she said she’s starting slowly.
UPDATE: The pair rolled in their first-round match.
Sterling career in singles and doubles
Raymond won four titles and got to No. 15 in the world in singles. She also made eight other finals.
That would be an impressive career for anyone. But it was in doubles that Raymond made a major mark, with her premium serve-volley skills and sweet one-handed backhand.
She was among the first notable players on the women’s side in the last 20 years to hit the college route (at least for a year) before coming out on the pro tour and having top-level success.
Raymond was ranked in the top 10 (or just outside it) in doubles for … 20 years, from 1994 through to Wimbledon in 2013. That’s a remarkable. She got to the No. 1 spot in six separate seasons.
In all, Raymond won 79 women’s doubles titles and made 43 more finals.
Among those were the US Open and WTA Finals in 2011, the 2006 and WTA Finals in 2006, the US Open and WTA Finals in 2005, Wimbledon, the US Open and the WTA Finals in 2001 and the Australian Open in 2000.
Stubbs, Stosur, Huber – solid partnerships
Raymond teamed up with Rennae Stubbs of Australia for many years, with occasional forays with Lindsay Davenport and even Martina Navratilova. After that, she had a good run with Samantha Stosur. And towards the end, with Liezel Huber.
She also won five Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, and made five more finals.