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lizchris
May 4th, 2004, 02:15 PM
Updated: 08:29 AM EDT

Clijsters Will Play in French, but Focus Is on Wimbledon

By PATRICK VIGNAL, Reuters

BERLIN (May 4) -- World No. 2 Kim Clijsters will play in the French Open but has limited ambitions at the tournament because she is hampered by a wrist problem.
Belgian Clijsters is making her return to WTA Tour action at this week's German Open after missing the last seven weeks with an injury to her left wrist.

She resumed playing late last month in a Fed Cup tie but has to wear a brace and cannot play her best tennis.
"I'll play the French and we will see what I can do but I'll play with the brace and that will definitely be restricting me," said the 20-year-old on Tuesday.

Clijsters, who lost to compatriot Justine Henin-Hardenne in last year's final of the Paris Grand Slam, feared at one stage that she might have to miss the highlight of the clay-court season, from May 24.

World No. 1 Henin-Hardenne is not in Berlin because of a viral infection that has raised doubts as to whether she will be able to defend her French Open crown.

Clijsters, the top seed in Berlin, said she was happy to be playing again but not being able to use her backhand to the full on the demanding slow surface was a handicap.

"I cannot put as much spin on my backhand as I want and that's a problem," she said. "I guess claycourt is not the best surface to come back on because you need a lot of spin but I have to be careful. I must not overuse my backhand."

The Belgian said she might not be at her best before the grass-court season and had already set her mind on Wimbledon, starting June 21.

"The focus is on Wimbledon," she said. "That's where I believe I will be able to play my best tennis."

Clijsters, who has a bye into the second round of the German Open, faces Spanish qualifier Marta Marrero on Wednesday.



05/04/04 06:17 ET

Copyright 2004 Reuters Limited.

"Sluggy"
May 4th, 2004, 02:26 PM
doesnt seem strange that shes playing with a tweaked wrist? why not just rest up,get well then come back.

flyingmachine
May 4th, 2004, 02:29 PM
I think Clijster has the talent to be a grass court player. She is very strong and very quick and her 'spint' can be very handly at low balls but she first have to change her game because her game at this moment of time is anything but a suitable game for grass. I think her best surface at the moment is hardcourt but I do think she true talent are on grass. :)

sarza
May 4th, 2004, 02:30 PM
good luck to kimmie and i for one am hoping she is at top form for wimbledon

flyingmachine
May 4th, 2004, 02:31 PM
doesnt seem strange that shes playing with a tweaked wrist? why not just rest up,get well then come back.
I agree with you Paul. It will better if she is 100% than still carrying an injury whiles she's playing.

Shuji Shuriken
May 4th, 2004, 02:32 PM
I think Clijster has the talent to be a grass court player. She is very strong and very quick and her 'spint' can be very handly at low balls but she first have to change her game because her game at this moment of time is anything but a suitable game for grass. I think her best surface at the moment is hardcourt but I do think she true talent are on grass. :)
While I think she is very talented, i don't think grass is the best surface for her to try to compete with the likes of Venus and Serena...and even Justine. I think she has more of a hard-court game, which could be transposed onto a grass-court :).

flyingmachine
May 4th, 2004, 02:48 PM
While I think she is very talented, i don't think grass is the best surface for her to try to compete with the likes of Venus and Serena...and even Justine. I think she has more of a hard-court game, which could be transposed onto a grass-court :).
This is why if Clijster wants to win Wimblendon she HAVE to CHANGE her game. Unless the Williams sister and Justine are NOT going to Wimblendon but I don't it will happen in the next 2 or 3 years.

~|Naomi|~
May 4th, 2004, 02:53 PM
Interesting title of the thread, Kim didn't say the focus was winning wimbledon, but rather wimbledon itself as she believes she will be able to play her best there rather than at the French where she has set herself low ambitions, which I think could be a good thing:p

jenglisbe
May 4th, 2004, 02:53 PM
Kim had Venus on the ropes at Wimbledon last year (even before the injury) until she backed off and let Venus take over. I think grass suits Kim well because she sometimes gets a bit ambitious, but grass rewards that better than any other surface (it's a shotmakers surface). Grass also rewards athletes, and Kim is clearly a superior athlete.

Really, Kim can overpower everyone except the Williams sisters when she's all there mentally, and she can hang in there with the sisters, too. It will all come down to Kim's mental state.

tennnisfannn
May 4th, 2004, 02:59 PM
Quite frankly I expect kim to make the semis in Berlin and the FO. At the AO they (her camp) kept making it look like she was going to /might skip the AO and she made the finals. I think either her camp or the media exaggerates some of these injuries. Really if kim was struggling, why would she playing Berlin, Rome and the FO.

lizchris
May 4th, 2004, 03:01 PM
Quite frankly I expect kim to make the semis in Berlin and the FO. At the AO they (her camp) kept making it look like she was going to /might skip the AO and she made the finals. I think either her camp or the media exaggerates some of these injuries. Really if kim was struggling, why would she playing Berlin, Rome and the FO.
Probably knowing that she could get back to number one if Justine can't play.

BK4ever
May 4th, 2004, 03:02 PM
Whatever...she needs to give Monica a call :tape:

Lady
May 4th, 2004, 03:10 PM
I don't get how a top player, former #1 can play a tournament without a goal of winning it?? :shrug:

SJW
May 4th, 2004, 03:11 PM
ummm....Kim can beat Henin on grass :)

tennnisfannn
May 4th, 2004, 03:22 PM
ummm....Kim can beat Henin on grass :)They are both not at 100% and whoever feels slightly stronger on the day will win this one.

Fingon
May 4th, 2004, 03:48 PM
Kim had Venus on the ropes at Wimbledon last year (even before the injury) until she backed off and let Venus take over. I think grass suits Kim well because she sometimes gets a bit ambitious, but grass rewards that better than any other surface (it's a shotmakers surface). Grass also rewards athletes, and Kim is clearly a superior athlete.

Really, Kim can overpower everyone except the Williams sisters when she's all there mentally, and she can hang in there with the sisters, too. It will all come down to Kim's mental state.
No, you are wrong.

grass doesn't allow high risk, by the contrary, with the low bounces players have to be more careful, and you don't need to smack the ball as much to hit a winner.

It's NOT a shotmaker's surface, it favours players that can get in an attacking position from the start of the rally, it does not favour rallies or point construction.

And it does not favour athletes. Because it's so fast normally rallies are short, it's more about getting pass the opponent than getting a lot of balls back, which is not possible even for the best athletes. Even Steffi Graf used to play differently at Wimbledon, going to the net a lot more.

Players with not very good athletic abilities can do very well at Wimbledon, look at Davenport, Tauziat.

The Williams sisters have those terrific serves, and they can hit winners from anywhere, they can slow down and their shots are still unreturnable.

Justine has a grasscourt game, one handed backhand, slice, net game, a good serve (when it goes in), excellent offensive lobs.

If Kim wants to win Wimby she needs to use the slice more, come to the net more. Stop going for the lines too much (it's not necessary). She needs to use the lobs a lot more (one of the main weapons on grass), and she needs to remain focused and jump on the opponent's second serves, even if it's Serena or Justine

Knizzle
May 4th, 2004, 03:51 PM
Kim had Venus on the ropes at Wimbledon last year (even before the injury) until she backed off and let Venus take over. I think grass suits Kim well because she sometimes gets a bit ambitious, but grass rewards that better than any other surface (it's a shotmakers surface). Grass also rewards athletes, and Kim is clearly a superior athlete.

Really, Kim can overpower everyone except the Williams sisters when she's all there mentally, and she can hang in there with the sisters, too. It will all come down to Kim's mental state.
Venus' injury timeout was at 1-2 first set. Yes Kim was up a break, but I'd hardly say she had Venus "on the ropes" seeing as she lost the break back after the injury timeout. Kim needs to improve her serve if she wants to beat the sisters on grass.

oddkayla
May 4th, 2004, 03:52 PM
Kim is just fine. She is only playing mind games. The same ones she was playing in Australia, when she kept posting on her website that she could miss the tournament and how bad her injury was. Well hello, she wasnt exactly hobbling on her way to the final. For one who has questioned the intergrity of the odd player here and there, she shouldnt be engaging in this.

She is far better than that.

jdog3008
May 4th, 2004, 03:55 PM
Kim's best tennis at Wimbledon won't make it past the semifinals. She should focus on the French because she has a legitamate chance there.

Pinkie
May 4th, 2004, 04:05 PM
Kim is just fine. She is only playing mind games. The same ones she was playing in Australia, when she kept posting on her website that she could miss the tournament and how bad her injury was. Well hello, she wasnt exactly hobbling on her way to the final. For one who has questioned the intergrity of the odd player here and there, she shouldnt be engaging in this.

She is far better than that.

:rolleyes: Kim hurt her wrist 8 weeks ago. She will be playing the FO (another 3 weeks from now) with a brace.
A. how is this a mind game and not a serious injury?
B. the brace does not allow her to put enough spin on the ball which she needs on clay. Isn't it normal for her to have limited ambitions for the FO? She could get far for the simple reason that a top 3 player at 80% can still beat a lot of ther girls.

UDiTY
May 4th, 2004, 04:05 PM
I think she feels she will at least reach the SF at Roland Garros with her forehand. What happens if people attach your backhand Kim!??!

She could hurt herself more and not even be able to play Wimbledon.:confused:

pigam
May 4th, 2004, 04:37 PM
ummm....Kim can beat Henin on grass :)
of course she can, I'm quite sure she can beat Serena and Venus there too actually!
Should be interesing, seen that Justine has already mentioned Wimbledon (and Olympics) is toppriority for her his year, and The Williamssisters are ALLWAYS ready for Wimbledon :bounce:

bandabou
May 4th, 2004, 05:19 PM
of course she can, I'm quite sure she can beat Serena and Venus there too actually!
Should be interesing, seen that Justine has already mentioned Wimbledon (and Olympics) is toppriority for her his year, and The Williamssisters are ALLWAYS ready for Wimbledon :bounce:

Of course she can...but I think sheīs likelier to beat Justine than say a Williams...on grass, theyīre simply playing a different game than everybody else. Shouldnīt aim to beat them, just be happy with a semi..

Cybelle Darkholme
May 4th, 2004, 05:56 PM
So basically shes using the french open as her warm up tournament?

Kim should get healthy before she risks doing even more damage to her wrist. If hte focus is on wimbledon then skip the clay season and rest and recuperate for the grass. She could always play eastbourne for matches to ease her into it again.

Foot_Fault
May 4th, 2004, 05:58 PM
Venus' injury timeout was at 1-2 first set. Yes Kim was up a break, but I'd hardly say she had Venus "on the ropes" seeing as she lost the break back after the injury timeout. Kim needs to improve her serve if she wants to beat the sisters on grass.
I was just about to post the score,....it was in the 3rd game and she was NOT on the ropes, we all know Venus starts slow...but definately was not on the ropes.

Kuti Kis&Monica
May 4th, 2004, 06:17 PM
I hope her opponents won't play too much on her backhand. With this article, she game them an indication.

WF4EVER
May 4th, 2004, 06:19 PM
I don't get it. If Kim doesn't think she can be a contender at the French, why on earth is she playing Berlin this week (and is she playing Rome?), why is she playing the French and how on earth can she expect to do well at Wimby if she's taking the risk of re-injuring her wrist (since clay is not the best surface to some back from an injury, she said).

I can't help but agree with Oddkayla. It's the same crap they had running aroung before the AO: that she was so injured and wasn't sure she'd play but there was absolutely no sign of it during her matches.

Frankly I really don't give a damn. If she shows up to play then she should be expected to be held to the standard of all the other players who have shown up to play. If you go out there to play, if/when you lose don't make excuses.

tennisIlove09
May 4th, 2004, 06:26 PM
maybe what she's saying is she's not expecting much from herself at French because of her injury

lizchris
May 4th, 2004, 06:30 PM
The point is... If it is a serious injury, what is she doing playing Berlin?
Exactly.

If she really wants to do well at the French, then she should have skipped the GO and the IO.

WF4EVER
May 4th, 2004, 06:31 PM
maybe what she's saying is she's not expecting much from herself at French because of her injury
It's like deja vu.

SJW
May 4th, 2004, 06:40 PM
of course she can, I'm quite sure she can beat Serena and Venus there too actually!
Should be interesing, seen that Justine has already mentioned Wimbledon (and Olympics) is toppriority for her his year, and The Williamssisters are ALLWAYS ready for Wimbledon :bounce:
of course she can...every one is playing down Kim's chances, and it's the same old story. last year we heard "she's not good on grass" and she won a title and made the semi of the mother of all tournaments, where maybe if she was a little more mentally strong, and Venus was less mentally strong, she woulda made the finals :shrug:

Kim is a danger, and time, any place, and even with one hand. she TOTALLY beat up K-Lina in Fed Cup (K-Lina ain't no pushover) 6-3 6-1 was it? that's impressive stuff. she's one of these people who recover quickly, even though she doesn't like taking medicine.

i think she has a good chance not only in Berlin, but the FO and Wimbledon too

SJW
May 4th, 2004, 06:43 PM
The point is... If it is a serious injury, what is she doing playing Berlin?
to be fair, none of the players seem to take a rest when they're injured. there's always something wrong with Henin, V has made her injuries worse and worse over the past year or so, and she's played, what, only 8 tournaments. Serena had an over-ambitious schedule which meant she played 2 tourneys then had to pull out...Momo plays as little as a Williams sister, and always seems to have an injury. JCap obv wasn't fully fit earlier this year, but thought there's no practice like match practice.

she's not the only one to blame when it comes to being too eager

Volcana
May 4th, 2004, 06:53 PM
"I cannot put as much spin on my backhand as I want and that's a problem," she said. "I guess claycourt is not the best surface to come back on because you need a lot of spin but I have to be careful. I must not overuse my backhand."
Well, gee. I know which side I'm pounding the hell out of in the first set!

I can understand coming back before you're fully healthy. IF there's no chance of additional damage. If it's a case of "I have to be careful. I must not overuse my backhand.", then obvously there IS some chance of causing additional damage. Brace or no brace, there's the impact of thousands and thousands of shots hitting the racquet.

She knows far better than I what she can do athletically, but she's only going to be playing her best tennis at WB if she doesn't cause the wrist further injury.

harloo
May 4th, 2004, 06:58 PM
I think maybe she should not play until her injury is fully healed. It's kind of what Vee did when she played the French while having injury problems. I just think it's best for players today to stay out and do some light training rather than returning back to competition and reagrevating a injury and making it worser.

Pinkie
May 4th, 2004, 07:05 PM
Exactly.

If she really wants to do well at the French, then she should have skipped the GO and the IO.

Actually, I think Spring 2002 might be Kim's reason to want to play now. She had a horrible few months because of the shoulder injury and the fact that she was not allowed to play much. For a player who likes to play a lot, the fact that she could not ruined her Spring (no match toughness, no rhythm, no confidence). She really had to dig deep to turn around that year.

Assuming it is true that the doctors said she can't make the injury worse, I don't understand what the fuss is about. I mean, if she is not 100% and still prefers the possibility of losing in an early round to not playing at all? Does it matter?

Pinkie
May 4th, 2004, 07:09 PM
The point is... If it is a serious injury, what is she doing playing Berlin?

My point was that if a player is out with an injury for 7 weeks, you can hardly call that a head game. She is playing Berlin because she supposedly can't re-injure herself. In that case, why not?

sartrista7
May 4th, 2004, 07:15 PM
My point was that if a player is out with an injury for 7 weeks, you can hardly call that a head game. She is playing Berlin because she supposedly can't re-injure herself. In that case, why not?

If she really can't re-injure herself, why does she say that she "must not overuse the backhand"? Surely if there was no risk of making the injury worse, she'd be able to hit backhands as much as she wants and with as much spin as she wants?

There's a history of Kim's injuries being called 'very serious', 'will certainly require surgery', even 'career-threatening'... but then disappearing, without even a hint of surgery. I think she's perfectly fine... just like she was at the AO.

jenny161185
May 4th, 2004, 07:18 PM
This is a a good idea from Kim but I hope she plays RG and with not as much pressure on her maybe she'll go for lines more etc and be ruthless :)

bandabou
May 4th, 2004, 07:24 PM
of course she can...every one is playing down Kim's chances, and it's the same old story. last year we heard "she's not good on grass" and she won a title and made the semi of the mother of all tournaments, where maybe if she was a little more mentally strong, and Venus was less mentally strong, she woulda made the finals :shrug:

Kim is a danger, and time, any place, and even with one hand. she TOTALLY beat up K-Lina in Fed Cup (K-Lina ain't no pushover) 6-3 6-1 was it? that's impressive stuff. she's one of these people who recover quickly, even though she doesn't like taking medicine.

i think she has a good chance not only in Berlin, but the FO and Wimbledon too

now,now...letīs just say she ainīt beating a williams without match-play. not happening.

Pinkie
May 4th, 2004, 07:41 PM
I wouldn't go as far as suggesting she's perfectly fine, but if she's playing, there is no way it is a "serious injury".

No point in arguing the meaning of "serious." To me, being out for 7 weeks is serious enough. But hey. She said herself is ok now, just not 100%. She will be playing with a brace for another 3.

ace4lleykim
May 4th, 2004, 07:57 PM
Kim still wants to play but she doesn't want to put any pressure on her wrist, she will play the best she can. And she did say that she will skip the FO if the injury got more serious. She wanted to play Berlin coz she will estimate whether she's ready for FO or not.:o

SJW
May 4th, 2004, 08:08 PM
now,now...letīs just say she ainīt beating a williams without match-play. not happening.kim has made 3 of the last 4 slam finals and not faced a williams in any of those slams ;)

sarza
May 4th, 2004, 08:11 PM
kim has made 3 of the last 4 slam finals and not faced a williams in any of those slams ;)

that is until RG04, when kim wins her first GS :)

bandabou
May 4th, 2004, 08:46 PM
kim has made 3 of the last 4 slam finals and not faced a williams in any of those slams ;)
In fact....in the last 5 slams, all the times she hadnīt had to face a Williams she went to the finals...donīt think itīs gonna be at Wimbledon that sheīs gonna have her breakthrough.

Couver
May 4th, 2004, 10:44 PM
Kim is free to play whatever tournament she wants. I mean only she knows her body and what it can handle. So we don't really have a right to pass judgement.

But Kim girl why are you broadcasting your injuries and weaknesses to the whole tour before a GS!!!! :tape: :tape:

ace4lleykim
May 4th, 2004, 10:58 PM
Like I said before, she doesn't want to put any pressure and just overestimate her injury and doesn't know when it will completely heal so she just announced it. :shrug: Am I making sense? Sometimes, I just don't make any sense. Sorry. :o

sarza
May 4th, 2004, 11:04 PM
Like I said before, she doesn't want to put any pressure and just overestimate her injury and doesn't know when it will completely heal so she just announced it. :shrug: Am I making sense? Sometimes, I just don't make any sense. Sorry. :o

its ok i understand you :) and i dont understand much :lol:

ace4lleykim
May 4th, 2004, 11:32 PM
Sorry! I'm kinda :retard: sometimes. :lol:;)

oddkayla
May 5th, 2004, 08:03 AM
Originally by Sartrrisa7

__________________________________________________ ___

There's a history of Kim's injuries being called 'very serious', 'will certainly require surgery', even 'career-threatening'... but then disappearing, without even a hint of surgery. I think she's perfectly fine... just like she was at the AO
__________________


My point exactly. Kim is just fine. The fool is the player who starts hitting to the backhand on the chance that there is an injury there. Go to the forehand, that shot breaks down so often and it is supposed to be her major weapon. Mix it up. My bet is that the brace will come off during one tense match, if it makes it that far. I still say she is playing mind games. If she wasnt she would not have be playing so much when she has an injury that is supposed to be seriious period!

Pinkie
May 5th, 2004, 08:54 AM
Originally by Sartrrisa7

__________________________________________________ ___

There's a history of Kim's injuries being called 'very serious', 'will certainly require surgery', even 'career-threatening'... but then disappearing, without even a hint of surgery. I think she's perfectly fine... just like she was at the AO
__________________


My point exactly. Kim is just fine. The fool is the player who starts hitting to the backhand on the chance that there is an injury there. Go to the forehand, that shot breaks down so often and it is supposed to be her major weapon. Mix it up. My bet is that the brace will come off during one tense match, if it makes it that far. I still say she is playing mind games. If she wasnt she would not have be playing so much when she has an injury that is supposed to be seriious period!

Let's see there have been three injuries. First there was the shoulder injury. Well, it was career threatening. It ruined half of 2002 for KIm and to this day she has to do daily exercises to keep it away. Then there was the ankle injury at the AO this year. Admittedly there was a lot of fuss about and she turned out to be fine. Still, much of the hype was not done by Kim or her entourage. She playedthe AO not fully recovered and didn't know how much the ankle would hold up. Just because it did hold up, does not mean questioning it it would before hand was not justified. And now there is this injury. Well; I fail to see how an injury that has kept her out for 2 months is not serious. She willplay the FO with a brace. The physical hindrance she has from not being able to use her wrist 100% because of the brace are much bigger than the mindgame results she could :confused: getting from it. Seriously, she doesn't need a brace to intimidate a player like Marrero into losing. And a player like Serena is not going to be distracted by it. Either way, I failt to see the point.

pigam
May 5th, 2004, 09:05 AM
In a way I think is keeping the pressure off. I'm NOT saying she isn't injured, but I just can't believe she doesn't see herself winning RG, she should! I saw her match against K-Lina in Fed Cup (idd SJW) and it was great! All people who say she is giving her opponents the perfect game plan to win against her: not really I think. K-Lina tried to play Kim's backhand, and it was just too good. Kim is better shape than she makes everyone believe/she makes herself believe. The likes of Marta Marrero playing in her backhand won't bother her, IMHO, she'll have time to speed up in time for the Frnech. (hope I'm not jinxing her :o )

~|Naomi|~
May 5th, 2004, 02:27 PM
I saw her match against K-Lina in Fed Cup (idd SJW) and it was great!
Well let's just say I hope she plays the same way in Berlin against Sprem cause she struggled against Marrero.

pigam
May 5th, 2004, 02:29 PM
I know :o
I was wrong. But you gotta admit she played great against Sprem! Maybe she still has to find her rythm on outdoor courts.

SilviaFan
May 5th, 2004, 02:54 PM
I don't get it. If Kim doesn't think she can be a contender at the French, why on earth is she playing Berlin this week (and is she playing Rome?), why is she playing the French and how on earth can she expect to do well at Wimby if she's taking the risk of re-injuring her wrist (since clay is not the best surface to some back from an injury, she said).

I can't help but agree with Oddkayla. It's the same crap they had running aroung before the AO: that she was so injured and wasn't sure she'd play but there was absolutely no sign of it during her matches.

Frankly I really don't give a damn. If she shows up to play then she should be expected to be held to the standard of all the other players who have shown up to play. If you go out there to play, if/when you lose don't make excuses.

I agree with you !!!!!

Crazy Canuck
May 5th, 2004, 05:00 PM
How many more "career threatening" (;)) injuries will Clijsters suffer from this year? 2? 3?