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June 24, 2012

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Kim.

Q.  What was your injury and what is your condition now?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  My injury a couple days ago was my left abdominal muscle that I pulled, that I tore, last year in Toronto, I think.  It started to flare up a little bit again and I decided not to risk it by playing the semis.
The tournament wasn't over, so who knows, maybe playing an extra two matches there.  So I decided to pull out of the tournament to give me enough rest to be ready for my first round here.

Q.  How do you feel?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Good.  I'm excited to be here after missing it last year.  Obviously, you know, I would have liked to have seen things go a little bit different these last few days.
But I'm taking it one day at a time, and I feel like it's been improving bit by bit every day.  So that's the other good thing.

Q.  Do you feel fit enough to last two weeks?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah.  You know, again, day to day.  Nobody knows if they're going to be fit enough for the two weeks.  But I feel like, like I said, I've had these last few days.  I've been resting.  I've had treatment.  I feel like every day it's been getting better.
I hope one match at a time, and it needs to be, you know, in good shape.  I have to be in good shape to win my first round, and that's what I'm focusing on.

Q.  If this wouldn't have been your last Wimbledon, would you have turned up this fortnight?

Q.  Is this going to be an emotional Championships with regard to it being your last?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  When I'm done, yeah.  I'm sure it will be, yeah.

Q.  What do you think those emotions will be and what is so special for you being here?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Well, to me I think just the place has a big history for me personally, being here as a junior, you know, playing junior finals here.  Just everything, the whole atmosphere of staying at a house, having family here and friends.
I remember there were situations when I was playing juniors where we were waiting for a rain delay for about three days.  My dad was sitting on a bench, one of the little courts on the side, in the rain for three days just waiting in case I would go on, that we had a spot.
So, no, there's just a lot of history.  We go back to the same house.  It's just nice to have that routine.
And tennis‑wise, I love the atmosphere that hangs around the courts here, the history, the tradition.¬† You don't feel that vibe in any other Grand Slam.¬† I think that's what makes this so unique.

Q.  You said that the US Open will be your last tournament.

Q.  You once left the game and have come back.
KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, this is it.  If that's where you're going, this is it.

Q.  No doubt?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, no, no.

Q.  Why?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Too old.  Too old to play the game that I want to play physically.  I've put my body through enough strain and everything.  The whole lifestyle, that's what I'm dealing with now, the lifestyle I've had for the last 15, 20 years.  It's been great.  I wouldn't change it for a thing.
But I'm not going to be the type of player that's going to change the way I play or the way that I move.  I don't have that.  I naturally have that strong movement, powerful shots, and that's been able to have me on top of women's tennis and be, you know, I think on the highest part of women's tennis, with Venus, Serena, Justine, to be part of that.
So physically I need to be thankful for that, but, yeah, it's normal that that's not going to last 20 years.

Q.  What do you want your legacy to be and be most remembered for?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  I don't know, I haven't thought about that question.  Maybe I'll tell you later.  Let me think about that.

Q.  Some of the players talk about your personality.  What do you take from the hearing the other players talk about what you mean to them and the way you conduct yourself?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  I think for me the most important thing is I've always followed my heart.  I've always done what I felt was right.  I've always stayed true to who I am.  I think that's been something that I've seen.  Players change.  That's something that I've always followed my roots, like I said, followed my heart.
I think that's something in this kind of lifestyle where you get kind of when you're young and you start doing well.  There's so many other things involved than just tennis and practicing.  I think you see players kind of losing the true sense of life, I think, and of the sport.
And I'm glad.  I have no regrets.  I know I always gave myself 100%.  So I don't have any regrets in that way either.

Q.¬† I know you came to Paris for a day.¬† Was it pretty frustrating?¬† What are your thoughts about not being able to say good‑bye properly?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  I was.  It hurt being there, kind of just having my handbag, no tennis racquets.  It felt really weird.
But on the other hand it is what it is.  I knew before I left there, okay, I wasn't ready to play the French.  You know, I needed the couple weeks extra to be ready on grass.

Q.  It's going to be a big challenge for you first up.
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah, it will be tough.  Jankovic is a tough opponent.  We've had some tough battles in the past.  One of the matches I played against Jelena in Sydney, the finals in Sydney, is one that I'll always remember as one the funnest matches I've played and one of the most intense ones as well.
I look forward to it.  Not being seeded, obviously it's possible that you draw a high seed.  So you have to be ready from the first match onwards.  But it will be a tough one.

Q.  What were your thoughts when you heard the Olympics were going to be played here, and what do you think that atmosphere will be like?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  I'm really excited about it.  Like I said, it's such a special place to be playing tennis at.  It's going to be a little bit different.  I got my outfit sent to me.  I saw the red skirt.  I was like, Red skirt at Wimbledon?  That's going to be a little bit different.
It's going to be different obviously.  I've never played the Olympics, so it's going to be a whole new experience for me there, as well.

Q.  What do you most look forward to about it?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  I think besides my personal kind of goal, what I look forward to is following the other Belgian athletes, trying to stick around and trying to support all the other Belgium athletes.
We don't get to play a team sport, but when we play the Olympics, besides your individual goal, you feel like a team.  I look forward to going to watch all the other Belgian athletes.

Q.  What are your plans?  Are you going to do any coaching?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  I haven't really thought about that yet.  My husband and I, we'd like to expand our family.  We would like to have more kids.  Yeah, then we'll see from there.
I own a tennis facility in Belgium that we're renovating at the moment.  That's going to be a place where I'm going to be spending a lot of time, and I look forward to that.
But coaching, I don't think I'm going to be teaching tennis eight hours a day.¬† I don't think in that way.¬† But if I can help juniors, some up‑and‑coming players to give my experience, then I would be more than happy to help out.

Q.¬† You talked about seeing other players not have a personal life, how that's never been you.¬† You talk about wanting to expand your family.¬† How much has your joy at being part of having a family been in your decision‑making process?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  I mean, for that I'm still young.  Maybe not for tennis, but for that I'm still young.  So it's more the physical, the way I feel physically, that has probably made me decide.
You know, I didn't expect obviously when I started ‑‑ after having Jada, I never expected that things would be going so well so soon.¬† It's been an incredible adventure these last three, four years.¬† I feel like I've been able to kind of finish that chapter of my tennis year on a good note.¬† I'm going to give 200% these last few tournaments that I have left.
I don't think the family side is what's making me decide to quit.  No, not at all.  It's more the physical issues.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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