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March 25, 2002

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Before we get to the match, can you tell me how you got hurt and where on your arm...

KIM CLIJSTERS: It's in here (indicating inner right arm).

Q. Muscle tricep or something?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It's the bone. So I've got a stress reaction in my arm. I started feeling it about, after the US Open last year, but I didn't really pay a lot of attention about it. I just kept playing. And, you know, I didn't really think it was anything serious. And then, when I had a few weeks off in December, I thought it was, like it would be better. But I started for playing like a week, started to hit more and stuff and then it started to get really painful and like the trip in Australia it was time to do something about it. And I had an MRI done and it showed up I had a stress reaction in my upper arm. I am take doing a lot of shoulder exercises to stay stable and to strengthen all my muscles around this area so I take a lot more pressure off my upper arm.

Q. So it's -- is it here or higher?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It's here (indicating).

Q. Does it affect your serve in any way, less power?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, definitely. At the moment, I'm serving a lot better than I was in Australia. But I still feel like I can improve a lot more.

Q. Is it the velocity?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I think so. It's a lot harder to -- I start feeling -- in Australia I only started feeling it once I started serving. And so definitely it has something to do with the overheads. Maybe that's when my shoulder, I don't know. My shoulder's a bit sore at the moment but that's only because I've been doing lots of exercises and all the muscles are a bit tired.

Q. You must be concerned. You're young. Suddenly, this is an important arm for you?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Definitely. I wish it was my left arm. Definitely, I've been, until now, I've been very, very lucky with injuries. Knock wood, I hope I can stay like this. I never had anything serious up until now. But I'm in the gym for an hour and a half every day doing my exercises, and then an hour and a half in the trainer's room having treatment and all this stuff. So it's, yeah, it's something that takes a lot of time out of my rest period and... So, yeah.

Q. Nothing medically was done other than exercise?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Rest. Well, after the Australian Open I didn't play for a month. So that was sort of the only thing really they could do, they said like at the beginning of this injury, like rest, ice, and those exercises that I did.

Q. So no arm wrestling with Lleyton?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No (smiling).

Q. Talk about your match today, how do you feel you're playing with coming off of a lot of inactivity?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I actually felt pretty good today. I mean, I've been lucky to win some matches here. Like lucky to win some matches here. In Indian Wells I wish I would have had like an easier first round, because Nathalie Dechy was playing very well there and, yeah, she had some good wins before that. So, I wish I had an easier first round to get into my rhythm again and into my match rhythm. That's what I've been missing. I only hit for a week before that and then... But, yeah, it's been very good to have these matches here and before I start playing those top matches.

Q. You may have Monica next. Talk about your past with her and your future.

KIM CLIJSTERS: I think I've played Monica at the Hopman Cup a few times in Australia.


KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, twice there. This year - not this year, last year. This year it was, yeah. This year. No, beginning of this year. Last year I played her. I lost both my matches, but last year I had set points in the first set and I lost it. Then in the beginning of this year I had -- lost in three sets. So I like playing Monica. I mean, I remember I always watched Monica on TV when I was younger and when I was at home after school watching tennis. Yeah, so it's nice. It's a great opportunity for me to play her.

Q. Certainly can't be in awe of her. As you can say, she's still beat you a couple of times, though.

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, definitely. No, I'm going to try to have a revenge of course. That's what I try every match. You try to win. But, yeah, I'm just going to go out there and hope all this stays good and strong and, yeah, and I'm just going to focus on my game and then see what happens.

Q. Obviously, the knock on Monica since she's come back from what she's come back from, is her mobility. Do you feel that's something you could work on against her, make her move a lot?

KIM CLIJSTERS: That's probably the thing where you can beat her. If you play everything into her racquet, she hits the ball so clean and hard and places the ball so well then it's going to be very tough to beat her. So you have to go to the angles on the court and serve well, and try to get on top from the beginning. Because if you let her play the way she wants to, then she puts you under pressure from the first point and it's very hard to get into the match against her.

Q. Have you, trust me for not looking this up, but have you and Lleyton ever won a tournament -- obviously, at the same time? I mean, the same tournament, you know what I mean, when the men and women play together. Any Masters Series, has that happened?


Q. Have you ever won a Masters Series together?


Q. Obviously not a Grand Slam together. Do you guys talk about that?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Oh, no, not at all. We hardly talk about tennis.

Q. Really?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. We have to think about tennis all the time so it's nice to not think about it sometimes.

Q. Kim, what's this tournament like for you off the court? What sort of things do you like to do?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It's great. Miami is a great city. There's so many things to do. And, you know, it's a completely different than let's say the indoor tournaments in Europe. It's cold and there's not like a lot of things to do. Like you sit in your hotel room. But here, you could go for walks on the beach, go jetskiing, you can do a lot of things. But it's hard, when you're still in a tournament. You want to rest as well and you don't want to be in the sun too much. But once you're out, it's always -- of course it's disappointing that you lose, but you recover quicker I think than, I think, in other tournaments because you could focus on other things.

Q. That's why Boris Becker used to go out in the first round here all the time?

KIM CLIJSTERS: He probably went out before his first round.

Q. He withdrew a few times, too. Have you gotten to do those things?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Not yet. Those are things that I did the last years I was here. I went jetskiing and shopping a few times, went to like dinner in South Beach and Lincoln Avenue and those things. Those are things that are really nice, lots of good restaurants and good shopping. So that's nice.

Q. What difference does it make to your frame of mind to be able to have a sort of men and women's tournament? Obviously with you and Lleyton, what difference does that make for you to be able to share the tournament together like that?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, the schedule, it makes it a lot harder for the schedules. You have to wait a lot longer around than you have to like -- like say tonight. If there were no men here, then Jennifer and Tulyaganova would be here at 7 o'clock instead of second after 7. But it's nice, it's always good to have some men around, you know. You get -- you see the women all the time, so it's nice to have some mixed events. Yeah, I think it's also good for the crowd. The crowd is really into it. They see men's tennis and women's tennis. And I think that's great for them as well, and for the tournament it's good.

Q. It makes your day longer as well. Obviously, you want to stay here tonight.

KIM CLIJSTERS: I'm going to go back in between and have my massages and stuff and see if I can come back. Lleyton knows that I'm still in a tournament and that I'm doing my stuff, so he doesn't really worry. But if I can and if I have the time, I'll definitely go and watch some matches. I don't want to sit in the hotel room the whole day either.

Q. Have you noticed any changes in him since he became No. 1?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No. No. Not at all. No.

Q. Just more confident I guess?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I think so (smiling).

Q. He's always been pretty confident?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, yeah.

Q. Does he ever say, "Come on, when are you going to be No. 1?"


End of FastScripts….

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