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March 26, 2005

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English for Kim, please.

Q. In approximately four weeks, about 60 miles from here, there's going to be a Fed Cup match between the United States and Belgium, which Serena Williams and Lindsay Davenport are going to play four Belgian women who are not ranked very high.


Q. You never know what's going to happen in a Fed Cup match, but in all likelihood it could be a great embarrassment for the country. Why have you chosen not to play?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know if you know, but I was injured for a year so, you know, I think I have to, you know, set my, you know -- I'm not going to be able to play as many tournaments as I did, you know, in 2003 where I did play my Fed Cup matches. And even last year, when I got injured, I still tried to, you know, to keep the Belgian -- the country in the World Group. But, you know, I just have to put my, you know, myself first at the moment. And, you know, my wrist, there's still, you know, it's not the strongest part of my body and I have to look after that. I know that playing, especially the traveling, is not easy for my body now.

Q. Okay. So this tournament is over April 3rd. There would be three weeks before the Fed Cup tie is played. You've obviously chosen another priority instead of playing three weeks later. What was the other priority that was more important?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I know for myself that, you know, the clay court season is coming up now. I haven't been in a situation with my wrist that I need to take time to get used to that surface. It's a very demanding surface for the body. It's a surface where, you know, there's a lot of spin and a lot higher balls and I progressively have to, over the next three, four weeks, have to work my way up. I'm not just going to start hitting backhands for long. I have to start from where I started in the beginning of January. The clay is a different surface. I think Fed Cup just didn't fit in my schedule this year.

Q. The reason why you added Warsaw to your schedule?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I think it would be good to play another clay court event. I'm not saying I'm going to play, you know, five matches there, four matches. I think, you know, if I can maybe play one or two, it would be great. So I just, you know, I think that's where it would be good to just, you know, have a few matches. But if it gets too much, there's always -- I can always pull out of one of the next two.

Q. Do you think it's easier to make a comeback on the women's side than it is on the men's side?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I'm not a man, so I have no idea.

Q. Are you surprised at how quickly you've come back to a very high level?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I'm playing well. But like I said in my previous press conference, it can go -- it can turn the other way very quickly as well, the situation that I'm in. But I'm working hard. I've worked very hard in the off-season. I had a lot of time to work on a lot of other things and I feel very fit out there. But like I said, I need to keep working on everything because you never know what can happen next.

End of FastScripts….

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