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January 28, 2004

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: First question for Kim, please.

Q. How important was it for you to wrap it up in two sets today?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Very important. I think, you know, I think it would have been -- it would have been tough otherwise, you know. I think maybe that's why I was maybe rushing a little bit too much and maybe going for too much, you know, at the end of that second set, as well. But, no, I think it was very important to finish it off in that second set, yeah.

Q. That urgency was shown in so many match points, do you think?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, maybe. I think, you know, there's a few things that I -- you know, I mean, it's easy to say afterwards I would have liked to have done differently. But that's what happens at the moment and, you know, you can't change it now, so...

Q. Have you aggravated the same injury? When did it happen?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It happened I think in the beginning of the second set, I think 2-Love or something, yeah. And, you know, sort of felt it a little bit again, and flared up a little bit. So see how, you know, it will come up tomorrow.

Q. Were you running wide for a shot?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, forward. Did a forehand and I sort of jammed it again.

Q. Was it in the game before you took the injury break?


Q. What have you done for it?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Ice. Just ice so far, yeah. Just to keep the swelling down.

Q. Does it feel any worse than it did at the Hopman Cup?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no, no. No, because I couldn't even walk then, so...

Q. What is the feeling? Do you think you'll be restricted tomorrow?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. I don't know. You know, I'll have to see how it reacts and, you know, see -- try to ice it as much as I can today and, you know, maybe take a few painkillers tomorrow, you know, to keep the swelling down and some antiinflammatories. Yeah, to make sure that I, you know -- in Sydney was a little bit of a different case because I hurt it, as well. I think it could be a similar thing. But there I didn't want to risk it, you know, for the Australian Open. So now, you know, I don't mind. I'm going to have, you know, a week off anyway after this. I might as well, you know, go for it and give myself a shot. But, you know, on the other hand, if I can't walk tomorrow then, you know, it's stupid to go out there. But it's something that I'll have to see tomorrow. I'm going to come out here and, you know, get taped and see how it's feeling and test it.

Q. When you say painkillers, do you mean tablets or a needle?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no, tablets.

Q. Were you afraid that you wouldn't make it through a third set because of the injury?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, luckily, it didn't have to go that far. But I'm sure even if I would have gone through a third set, I would have tried as hard. I mean, I wouldn't, you know, do anything differently. I would have tried as hard as I did in that second set. But it would have been -- you know, for tomorrow, if I would have won in three sets, it probably would have aggravated it even more for tomorrow than having that set less.

Q. It's been reported that a back problem was going to restrict your serving today. Was that the case?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No. My back felt really good today. I've had a lot of treatment, and that was no problem anymore. So I think it's the same thing as it happened in the Hopman Cup. You know, with the foot, it stops me from jumping up and landing on my serve afterwards and pushing back, you know, towards the back of the court. It's pretty painful. And that's when, you know, I was struggling a little bit with that today, as well. Sort of without even -- you know, before the motion already, it's in your mind that your body tries to protect that part, and you're going to, you know, maybe change your serve a little bit, which is not natural for me to do. So it's going to definitely change the serve a little bit.

Q. With the injury today, can you actually describe the pain and where it takes place?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, it's the same thing as, you know, has been for the last three weeks. So, you know, I don't think there's a reason to describe it all over again because it takes pretty long. But it's the same thing as it has been.

Q. You've always had a day off in between matches. Is there a little concern you have to come up so quickly again for the semifinal?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, of course. You know, especially with this, of course it would have been better probably to have another day off. But there's nothing I can do about it. So there's nothing I'll -- you know, nothing that I'm going to change. You know, I'm going to try to rest as much as I can and, you know, go to the hotel and rest, and make sure that I don't put a lot of weight on it any more, don't walk around, stuff like that. No, and that's why it's good, you know, to have won this match today in two sets, because it would have been, you know, first of all, less time to recover for tomorrow, and, you know, the swelling would have been worse again.

Q. Will you try and have a hitting session tomorrow morning?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I will.

Q. To see how it goes?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I will. So I don't know when. I probably play second, I think after 1:30. So, you know, I'll probably hit around maybe 12 or something or 11, come out first here in the locker room, have it taped, see how I go with moving around, you know, side steps and stuff like this. You know, just little tests to see how it feels then. And if that gets the all clear, then, you know, I'll go out on the court.

Q. Your next opponent is a left-hander. How will you prepare differently for her?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, they're always a bit tricky. I think -- especially the one, you know, especially Patty, she's so talented. You know, she really uses the angles. She likes to use all the corners of the court. I just have to, you know, when I go out there tomorrow, just make sure that I hit the ball aggressive enough so I don't let her play her own game and that she doesn't get the chance or that she doesn't get time enough to, you know, use those angles. So I think that's the most important thing, is just make sure that I keep the pressure on her.

Q. Does Lleyton enjoy watching your games? He looks a bit pained at times when he's watching.

KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. You'll have to ask him. I don't know.

Q. There's obviously been a spate of injury both in the men's and women's game. Why do you think it is? Just having to play too often?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. I don't have a crystal ball here standing in front of me. But I don't know. I mean, it's not up to me to talk about other players' injuries, you know, just mine. You know, that's the only thing I can talk about. You know, it's got nothing to do with, you know, long schedules or anything, because it's the start of the year. You know, I really don't see a reason why, you know, long schedules or lots of matches is going -- you know, has got something to do with the injuries that are going around at the moment. You know, we've all had enough time to rest and to get fit for, you know, to start again. So especially in my case, it's just I think bad luck.

Q. Justine is waiting in the other half of the draw. Is part of you wanting the challenge again to try and beat her again?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Of course. You know, as a tennis player, you always want to get further and you always want to, you know, go make yourself, you know, play those kind of matches because that's what you play for and that's what you, you know, train for and that's what you work for and everything, so, yeah, definitely. Hopefully I'll be all right for tomorrow and see if I can get through that one.

End of FastScripts….

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