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Clijsters weds boyfriend in secret ceremony; reception still planned

7/13/2007

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Retired tennis star Kim Clijsters and
U.S. basketball player Brian Lynch were married Friday in a secret
early morning ceremony.

The civil ceremony was officiated by Jaak Gabriels, the Bree
town mayor who confirmed to local media that the ceremony had taken
place at 6 a.m.

"This has been organized on the request from Kim, to keep the
ceremony as low key as possible," Gabriels told VRT radio.

Clijsters' official Web site confirmed that the couple was
married Friday, adding a reception was planned for Saturday.

"Kim chose for the early hour because she wanted to conduct her
nuptials with the American Brian Lynch within a small circle of
people," said a statement in Dutch, posted on her site.

Media reported that a church ceremony also was planned for
Saturday.

The wedding comes just days after the former top-ranked player
announced she was pregnant with her first child.

The 24-year-old Clijsters called an end to her illustrious
career in May, saying a string of injuries had led to fatigue, a
lack of motivation and a decline in play. Clijsters said she wanted
to focus on her wedding and a new life with Lynch, who plays
professional basketball in the Belgian league.

Clijsters was Belgium's first tennis player to reach No. 1,
holding the top ranking for 19 weeks in 2003.

A left wrist injury last year stopped Clijsters from defending
her 2005 U.S. Open title, her only Grand Slam win, and from playing
in the Fed Cup final. She won the 2002 and 2003 WTA Championships
as part of her career 34 singles titles.