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January 17, 2006

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Kim, please.

Q. You began a little slowly. Were you sore at the start?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It was actually worse at the end. It got worse towards the end. You know, I got through, so that's the most important thing. That's what I'm most happy about. You know, I know that -- I knew that before I started I wasn't going to be able to play like I usually can, move freely. But, you know, that's where I had my mind set on. I knew that. I was just trying to get the best out of myself with the way that I physically can, and that's all I'm going to try to do.

Q. Were you consciously just not running for some balls?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. I mean, yeah. I can't. It hurts a lot. There's moments where it hurts. There's moments where it doesn't. So I just have to protect it. If I don't have to, I'm not going to risk too much.

Q. What sort of shots does it restrict you on?

KIM CLIJSTERS: At the serve most of all. Standing ready to return, when I bend forward, like in that position. The explosive stuff. Like doing the extension and the flexion with your back.

Q. When you come down on that left leg, is it a shooting pain up the left side?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, it's actually with the ball toss, bringing it upwards, then leaning back with the back, and then like doing the explosive, you know, where you get the power from. Lucky, I have pretty strong arms. I can sort of compensate a little bit like that. If I can't rotate or use my full body weight, which every other player normally does, you use your movement and your body to produce power in your strokes. But now I'm doing a lot just with my arm in a lot of positions. That's something that, you know, is probably not the perfect way to play tennis. But for me that's good enough now.

Q. How are you going to manage it between now and your next game?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, just, again, trying to get the inflammatory (sic) to go down. The tablets, I've been having some stomach problems the last couple of days. That's another part where it's just annoying. I'm just trying to get the inflammatory, the inflammation down.

Q. Does ice help at all?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. And you have to be careful because ice, but on the other hand I also have to keep it warm, too. It's a matter of seeing what feels more comfortable. With the hip, I probably have to ice more. The back, I'd like to keep it warm so the muscles around it don't tight up.

Q. Where you able to practice?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, for about seven minutes, eight minutes I hit. I did. That's why I don't want to risk anything. I don't want to go out there practicing for half an hour and then going in the match and feeling that practice was too much. I'd rather save my energy for the match. So I felt today, you know, it was possible. I hit about 10 rallies, you know, just to feel the ball a little bit and hit about 20 serves. That was it. I felt that that was fine. You know, ready to go.

Q. Do they think if you can get through the first week things should get better?

KIM CLIJSTERS: First week? I was very happy to get through today. I mean, the next match will be tough, especially now. So, yeah, you know, we'll see. Hopefully it can get better. Hopefully I stay positive and things won't be too bad tomorrow. Because it wasn't physically too tough today. That's the positive thing about today's match.

End of FastScripts….

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