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Kim Clijsters upbeat in defence of title

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Originally published on: 14/01/12 07:49

It was only a few days ago that Kim Clijsters was forced to retire in Brisbane from her semi final clash with Daniela Hantuchova with a hip injury. Talking about the experience in Melbourne today, Aussie Kim, as she called herself after last year’s victory revealed that after the injury “ I had my scan just to make sure the day after, but that showed no problems. So I was relieved”. Since her arrival in Melbourne she feels that she has been able to practise in the way she would have liked, going to the gym and spending time on the practise court.

She acknowledged though that it won’t be easy to defend her title, the field is open. In her own words, “It’s definitely a completely different situation than we had let’s say eight years ago or so where it was kind of easy to almost pencil in Quarter finalists or semifinalists in the draw. I think that’s completely different now, which makes it more fun”.

The No.11 seed will play a qualifier in the first round, and although at the time she spoke she did not know which player she would face she was mindful that she would have to be ready from the get-go,” because you can have really tough matches already”.(She will play Maria Koehler of Portugal)

2012 is going to be Clijster’s last year on tour, but she’d like to end her career on her terms, with a focus on staying fit for the season “I’m here, to play good tennis and try to stay healthy throughout the whole season, not to have major injuries where my season might be a question mark, which I would kind of like to end on my terms.” She has talked previously about retiring after the Olympics. Asked if she plays well if she might reconsider her decision, she said with her trademark-beaming smile “Look, you never know, but I doubt it”.

She sees her physical preparation coming into the tournament as good ‘So physically I’ve had, you know, a really good fitness preparation, kind of had the time to start working on I call it the boring things, but the core, just making sure that everything is ready to handle all that pressure.”

Whatever happens though, you know that Aussie Kim will give her all and the fans here will give her plenty of support as she begins the defence of her title. She managed to defend her US Open title in 2010, but you can’t help but sense with the field wide open it ain’t going to be easy here.

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