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August 21, 2001

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: First question for Kim, please.

Q. What happened?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, yesterday when I was playing Nathalie it was 6-2, 4-2 and she was serving and I had break point on the ad, on the ad side. And she serves a serve out wide to my backhand, and I sort of stepped my right foot forward. And I sort of like fell, it felt like someone just like hit an elbow into your leg or something. And I was warm then, so like it didn't bother me that much. But I was feeling it a little bit. So I went to the changeovers and I got off like from the chair, and I felt like a little sharp pain, like I was about to cramp. And so I was lucky that it was like, like one more game to go there. But then this morning when I tried to get out of bed, it felt like really like real tight and a sharp stitch into my right quad. So I tried to hit, and I tried like hitting. Like I was jogging and that was all right. But once I had to sort of do like squat movements and try to get like a little bit lower, it was painful. And like and it was getting worse. Like I thought once it would have been warmed up, I thought it might have been okay, but it was getting worse. I was only feeling it at the backhand first and then I was -- the end of the practice, I was sort of like started feeling it with every step I was taking. So, yeah, wouldn't have been the right decision, I think, if I would have gone out there and like -- play a few games. Like I knew I wouldn't be able to give myself 100 percent, especially against like those top players especially like Lindsay. I have to be like standing very low like when I have to return her serve. So if I'm not able to do that, it's not going to be like -- it's going to be very hard for me to like keep going throughout the whole match.

Q. What kind of treatment did you have on the thigh? How disappointed are you to withdraw?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It's on my quad, it's not really my thigh but my squad. Yesterday I had like an ice massage. The physio was really looking after me very well. I had like a few people standing around me, giving me massages on my leg, and giving ice massages. So like, like definitely like after the first two hours after like it happened, that's the most important thing to do is to put ice. But -- and yesterday evening like when I came to the room I was icing as well. And then this morning I warmed it up very well, had some hot cream to put on it. But, yeah. It's very, very disappointed. I mean, I was really looking forward to go out there and play the semifinal and also for the tournament. I mean, it's -- I really enjoy playing here. Even like last year was the first time I played here. It's a great tournament and that's -- like I feel really bad that it has to end like this. But like I would love to come back and try to play the semifinal again.

Q. Is the injury going to be a problem this week?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, the way it is right now, yes. But it's lucky -- like I hope that I can play my first round match on Tuesday and then sort of have like at least another day of rest more. But I think like the most important thing is that I take like at least two or three -- like maybe, if I can, take three days off and like with no tennis and get a lot of, a lot of, lot of treatment and then see. I'll try to go and do some -- maybe some swimming or something, just to keep like -- that I'm still doing something. Not that I have to sit like in a couch for the rest of the -- for the rest of like these three days before the Grand Slam. That's not the perfect preparation either. But I'll definitely have to try to do something. And, yeah, I'm going to go to New York maybe tonight because there are a lot of physios there already because the qualifyings have started. And, yeah, I'm going to try to get treatment today, go there. And then tomorrow I'll have a few treatments throughout the day. Yeah.

Q. How long did you warm up today before you realized you couldn't play?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I sort of like -- Jennifer and I, we started hitting like middle to middle. So that was actually all right. I was like feeling fine. But once like she hit -- she hit a mis-shot and she hit it to my backhand, and I had to run for it. And that's when I started to feel it. And then like we started like moving each other around a little bit. And once I had to like go for even the short, low balls where I had to actually bend my leg and then go to the sides, it was very tight and I felt like the stitch into my squad, yeah.

Q. Have you injured that part of your leg before?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Never. I've got pretty strong legs. I've never had that problem before.

Q. What were your emotions telling the crowd you couldn't come on?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Oh, like I mean I wanted to do it for like for the crowd and so that they know how it feels. For them like, I think it's also nicer for the crowd to understand that if it comes from me, and it's not the tournament director or from the WTA tournament director. It's very hard, of course. I mean, all these people, yeah, they're hoping to see like a great semifinal and of course they'll be disappointed to hear it as well. But, yeah, I mean it was very hard. But I'm happy I did it. I'm happy that I went out there and talked to them.

Q. Was it your idea to do it? Who do you say, "I want to do this?"

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I told Anne, I mean, that I would love -- Anne the tournament director, that I would love to go out there and say something and apologize to the crowd like for not be able to play the semifinal. And she said that would have been a great idea. And, yeah.

Q. Whose idea was it to have Lindsay go out as well?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, Lindsay was there when I told her -- when I told Anne. So she said, "Yeah, I'll come. I'll go with you." That's very nice of her, yeah. She came like up to me, straight after -- like when I pulled out, and she said she was very sorry, like to hear from her. She told me she had to do it a few times and it's not a very pleasant thing to do. But she said I'll learn a lot out of this, that it's a good decision and I'll learn a lot out of decisions like this. So that was a very learnful from like a player who's been on top for so long, yeah.

End of FastScripts....

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