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adidas International

January 13, 2004

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: First question for Kim, please.

Q. Are you still playing, or are you here to tell us you're pulling out?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I've decided that I'm not going to be able to go out there tomorrow and give myself 100 percent. I don't want to, you know, knowing that I'm going to be in a situation that from the moment, you know, that I can be out there and I don't feel 100 percent and I don't feel like I cannot do everything the way I always do, then, you know, I don't think it's, I think, professional, I think, also towards the tournament and towards everyone. I think to make this -- it's definitely not an easy decision. I've been feeling really keen, you know, to start playing a lot of matches here especially because, you know, you're at the tournament, you have to defend your title here. Yeah, it's tough, but it's a decision that -- so from the moment that it happened, a lot of people have been telling me, "You know, you shouldn't wait maybe if you want to be ready for Melbourne," which will definitely be in doubt still now. So it's gonna be tough. But, yeah, it's something that, you know, is sort of towards the future as well. I don't want to look only at what's happening this week and in the next two weeks. I think I have to think about my future as well. I have to make sure that this doesn't get like a chronic injury, so that I keep getting -- I want to get on top of it when I have it now and make sure that it's completely healed.

Q. What are your chances of playing in Melbourne?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. I don't know. You know, I don't know how it's gonna react in the next few days. I have to rest and make sure that I ice and have a lot of treatment. That's something I don't know. So I'm not really going to put a number on that, because I have no idea myself.

Q. Have your doctors, your physios, suggested when would be a good time for you to make that decision, playing in the Australian Open?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, because they don't know. They don't know how it's gonna -- if it's gonna recover quickly. In a way, I'll have to start hitting. If I'm gonna play the Australian, I would like to start hitting. I'll have a couple of days off again and have some very intensive treatments. But if I want to start hitting again, I'll have to play with a very strong and heavy tape. But, you know, I want to hit before I play there as well, and I have to -- I want to get myself ready. I don't want to go out there on Monday or Tuesday knowing that that's gonna be my first hit since I've done that, because then I don't think -- you might as well make sure that you rest long enough and try to be ready for my next tournament - or maybe Antwerp or whatever, back to Europe.

Q. Has it made any progress from yesterday? Do you think it's plateauing?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It got a little bit worse, I think, this morning again. I had a hit this morning and it flared up a little bit again. That's what scared me a little bit as well, that just by -- 'cause I wasn't even giving myself 100 percent out there. And feeling that it does that, you know, just by stopping, going to a short ball, running forward, it happened a little bit. Nothing as bad as against Alicia at the Hopman Cup, but still a sign that tells me that, you know, it's definitely not right yet.

Q. How long did you hit for this morning?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Would have been maybe 20 minutes, 15, 20 minutes.

Q. Were you planning to hit longer?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, yeah. From the moment, you know -- that's what the physios have been telling me as well. I know, you know, with this kind of injury that from the moment you feel something, you just have to go and ice it and have to have it looked at again and just rest. So that's what made me, you know, doubt myself more, was, you know, of what happened this morning.

Q. Is it a shooting pain just around your foot? Is it up your leg?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, just in the ankle.

Q. Just in the ankle?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Q. You, obviously, put your whole weight on it.

KIM CLIJSTERS: Just more stretching and flexing up and down.

Q. How do you feel right now? Are you quite disappointed?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Oh, yeah. That's why, like I said, I came here, because I wanted to give myself a chance and I wanted to be here. You know, it's always -- you come to tournaments where you have to defend your title, and I played so well here last year, a lot of great matches. It's really, really, yeah... I mean, I've never -- I don't think I've been in this position, where I've pulled out of a tournament where I was at because I didn't, you know, feel right. And it's, yeah... I mean it's a pain, yeah.

Q. Is it more disappointing that you haven't got a Grand Slam and this one might have been a good chance? Do you feel the Australian Open should be a good chance for you?

KIM CLIJSTERS: You know, that's something -- injuries happen to -- any sports person's gonna have injuries. Doesn't matter when the timing is, they're always gonna be a hassle. They're always gonna be at bad times, you know. There's no injury that comes at a good time. So, you know, that doesn't -- you know, the schedule, of course, I just have to try to get ready, you know, for what comes next, you know. I don't want to do stupid things by, you know, making it worse and then maybe I'll be out for longer 'cause then I'll regret that longer.

Q. Did Lleyton give you any advice?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no, no. I mean, he doesn't know what I'm feeling inside.

Q. You're going to have two full days off, you said?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, just see how it feels. I don't know how it's gonna -- if I still feel it, then, no, it's gonna sort of stay longer and longer, so...

Q. If you're not 100 percent by next week, will you definitely pull out?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Then I'll pull out, yeah. Like I said before, I have to think about my future. I don't think playing in a Grand Slam and, you know, you know that you're gonna give yourself -- I mean, I know whenever I get out on the practice court or on a match court, especially when you're playing a match, I know that I, you know, will be sliding for balls, I will be running towards dropshots and anything. So that's something that I don't, you know -- that's my character as well. So I think that's why I have to make the decision before and earlier and make sure that I'm fit enough before I can go out there again.

Q. Does the sticky sort of surface, the Rebound Ace, does it make it less likely you'll play?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, that's probably what's gonna make it tough, I think. Not only for me, but I think a lot of players, you know, roll their ankles here and everything. That's why it's probably a bigger risk as well. If anything else would happen on top of this, I could be out for longer. I don't want to risk anything. I want to make sure it's completely stable and that nothing serious happens.

Q. Will you rest here? Will you stay here? Will you go on to Melbourne?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. No, no, I'll stay here, yeah. I'll come out and watch Lleyton. And I still have to come out and have all my treatments every day here and everything. So that's where the WTA is really good, you have so many treatments.

Q. Is it mainly icing?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Everything. A bit of ultrasound, stim, mobilization exercises. Yeah, just everything. I don't even know what, that's not really my job. Yeah, a lot of things. It takes quite a while before I get out there.

Q. How long will you wait before deciding on Melbourne? And if it's not right by Friday or Saturday, will you wait right up until Monday?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I don't know. That's something I don't know. I don't know until I'm in that position, you know. I think it's very hard for me to comment on those questions, because I don't know how it's gonna, you know, be in the next three days or how it's gonna feel. So I have no idea. I just have to take it day by day, see how it goes. Just see after the treatments how I feel, how I react, if I can -- my range is further; like those little things. And then just rest, you know, try not to do too many stairs and, you know, just little things like that. But it's hard to give, like, a specific time or date or, you know... I'll let you guys know, don't worry (smiling).

End of FastScripts….

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