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January 11, 2006

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Kim, please.

Q. What's the injury? How did it happen?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know what the injury is yet. I need to have more tests done tomorrow. I hurt it warming up. I was hitting for about 20 minutes, just my ground strokes, and I was feeling fine. Then all of a sudden I just started to do serves, and as soon as I served I just felt really, really sharp pains. I don't know, like my groin or my hip. It got worse. Ever since then it's gotten worse and worse. I could hardly walk up the stairs. I'm wearing like a pretty like tight tape now and it's still bothering me a lot. So it's hard to say. It feels like it's really deep inside, so it's hard to say. You know, they can't look on the inside of my leg, so I'll probably have an MRI and an echo or a scan tomorrow.

Q. Was there any indication that this was going to happen?

KIM CLIJSTERS: My back has been bothering me the last few days, so I don't know if that has something to do with it. Maybe compensating for my back, you know, maybe pushing. I don't know. I think I'll be able to tell you guys more tomorrow.

Q. Was it the very first serve you did?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yep, the first one, yeah.

Q. How disappointing is this?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It's shit. It's terrible. Like today I felt like I was, in practice, sort of the first one that I felt like I was hitting the ball well, I was seeing the ball well. Then, yeah, with that serve I couldn't follow through. Really sharp pain. I tried to just stretch it out a little bit, you know, do some like movements to loosen it up, my hip better or my back. From then on it just got worse and worse. So it's, yeah, it's not good.

Q. Did you say your back had been bothering you? Was that before you came?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, sort of -- yeah, it started after the flight from Hong Kong, you know, so...

Q. What does this mean for the Australian Open?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, that's what I'm saying, I'll probably know more about that tomorrow. I don't know. I don't know what it is, so it's hard to set a date or, you know, a time on it, yeah.

Q. Given your recent history of injuries, would you take any risk by playing the Australian Open? Two years ago you played with an ankle problem.

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, that's because I couldn't make it any worse. The tape actually helped for my ankle then. I don't know what the diagnosis is yet, so it's very hard to answer those questions.

Q. Will you go and see a doctor here or in Melbourne?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I'll go here. First thing in the morning I'll go.

Q. How disappointing would it be if you did have to pull out of the Australian Open?

KIM CLIJSTERS: That's something I don't want to think of yet, no.

Q. There's been a lot of dropouts today. Traditionally there's a lot of dropouts in this tournament. Lindsay Davenport pulled out last year. Why is that?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I think a lot of players, I think it's just -- that's how I felt, too. Like after LA, in LA I was just really, really like tired and exhausted. I never really felt like I had enough time to recover and to start training again in December. So I think this was sort of the first time after last season that I felt like I needed a longer break so maybe that's, yeah, I don't know, part of it. You know, you try to rest and recover as well, but then you also want to start training because you know you need to train, especially here in Australia. You need to be there, ready to go. So it's hard, you know, when you only have a short period of time to get ready.

Q. There's always a lot of dropouts for the Australian Open, problems with the heat and everything else. Has it got to the point now where officials really have to look at adjusting the season?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, those are things that don't have to do with my injury, so you're probably better talking with, I don't know, WTA, ATP and tournament directors. I mean, that's not really up to me to say much about now. I mean, it's not important for me now.

Q. Have you had any kind of injury in that area before?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I've had some hip problems last year. On the clay court I hurt my knee, and then my hip was bothering me a lot as well. I don't know. Just getting old, I guess (smiling).

Q. Do you have some advice from your doctors in Belgium?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I mean, I have a doctor who is here with me; he's a friend of mine. He came out here. He's been a great help. And my cousin, too. So, you know, it's very hard to call people in Belgium because, you know, they obviously need to check it out. I'm sure they have really good doctors here as well, so I'm sure I'm in good hands here.

End of FastScripts….

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