September 15, 2009 / 4:26 AM / 9 years ago

Goolagong Cawley hails "major mum" Clijsters

SYDNEY (Reuters) - No-one was happier for Belgium’s Kim Clijsters after her U.S. Open triumph than Evonne Goolagong Cawley, the last mother to win a grand slam singles title.

Goolagong Cawley became an inspiration for working mothers the world over when she won Wimbledon in 1980, three years after giving birth to a daughter.

The Australian was the first mother to win a major in 66 years and her feat stood unmatched until Clijsters came out of retirement to win her second U.S. Open title on Sunday with her 18-month old daughter Jada in the stands.

“I was so very excited to hear that Kim won, and I’m so happy for her,” Goolagong Cawley told reporters in Australia.

“Go Mums! How gorgeous that she brought her daughter on court to celebrate. Please pass along my congratulations to her for such an amazing win.”

Goolagong Cawley won 14 grand slam titles during her career — 13 of them before she became a mother — and did not realize the magnitude of her feat until after her second Wimbledon crown.

“It was funny because as soon as I came off the court, the first thing the official said to me was, ‘Do you realize you are the first mother since Dorothea Douglass Chambers in 1914 to win here as a mum?’,” she said.

Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Alastair Himmer

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