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View Full Version : Kim Clijsters: Style = Injury Prone?


Volcana
Dec 22nd, 2002, 02:20 PM
I thought the Tour Champs final gave us an excellent sample of the senior Clijster's. Complete with charging, diving and splits while sliding sideways. It's no wonder Hewitt is taken with her, they play tennis the same way. They both throw their whole body at the point, rolling, sliding, sprinting, seemingly careless of injury.
I wonder though, is her style one that courts injury?
When Kim's right, she virtually always goes deep into tournaments.
When she's not, 1st, 2nd and 3rd round losses dot the landscape.
Mary Jo Fernandez is the player that always comes to mind when discussing injury.
She made three GS finals. Never won one.
If she could have stayed healthy more than five minutes at a time...

Kim's a big, heavy girl. I don't mena 'big' as a euphymism for fat.
She BIG. Like Lindsay now.
She's got legs and shoulders and can take a bit of a pounding.
If anyone's body can take the punishment, Kim's can.
But the splits while sliding sideways....
The human body isn't really designed to do that.
I wonder how long she can play that way.


Kim's entire career is summarized below.

From it's beginning to Rome 2001, 'inconsistent' is the best word to describe Kim's game.
Everything form tournament wins to 1st round losses.
From RG 2001 to OZ 2002, Kim played 15 tournaments, and made the semis or better ten times.
Post-OZ 2002 to US 2002, injured and inconsistent.
Post US 2002, she's the best player on the tour. (Okay, Serena didn't play much after US 2002)


10 May 1999 Belgian Open T? QF L PITKOWSKI-MALCOR 6-3 5-7 1-6
21 Jun 1999 Wimbledon GS 16 L GRAF 2-6 2-6
02 Aug 1999 Knokke-Heist T5 32 L HABSUDOVA 4-6 0-6
30 Aug 1999 US Open GS 32 L WILLIAMS 6-4 2-6 5-7
20 Sep 1999 Luxembourg T3 CH W VAN ROOST 6-2 6-2
18 Oct 1999 Bratislava T4 FR L MAURESMO 3-6 3-6
01 Nov 1999 Leipzig T2 32 L HRDLICKOVA 5-7 7-5 3-6
08 Nov 1999 Philadelphia T2 32 L CAPRIATI 5-7 3-6
09 Jan 2000 Hobart T5 CH W RUBIN 2-6 6-2 6-2
17 Jan 2000 Australian Open GS 128 L VAN ROOST 6-3 1-6 1-6
14 Feb 2000 Hanover T2 16 L SIDOT 7-6(3) 4-6 4-6
10 Mar 2000 Indian Wells T1 16 L WILLIAMS 4-6 4-6
20 Mar 2000 Miami T1 16 L HINGIS 0-6 4-6
13 May 2000 Antwerp T5 16 L BACHEVA 2-6 2-6
29 May 2000 Roland Garros GS 128 L SUGIYAMA 2-6 6-3 2-6
19 Jun 2000 's-Hertogenbosch T3 16 L SCHNYDER 4-6 6-4 5-7
26 Jun 2000 Wimbledon GS 64 L MYSKINA 4-6 2-6
24 Jul 2000 Stanford T2 32 L SHAUGHNESSY 6-3 6-7(4) 3-6
31 Jul 2000 San Diego T2 32 L MARTINEZ 3-6 4-6
21 Aug 2000 New Haven T2 QF L TAUZIAT 2-6 4-6
28 Aug 2000 U.S. Open GS 64 L DAVENPORT 6-4 2-6 2-6
23 Sep 2000 Luxembourg T3 QF L KOURNIKOVA 7-6(1) 3-6 1-6
02 Oct 2000 Stuttgart T2 FR L HINGIS 0-6 3-6
30 Oct 2000 Leipzig T2 CH W LIKHOVTSEVA 7-6(6) 4-6 6-4
13 Nov 2000 Tour Champs TC QF L DEMENTIEVA 4-6 6-2 4-6
07 Jan 2001 Sydney T2 16 L HINGIS 4-6 4-6
15 Jan 2001 Australian Open GS 16 L DAVENPORT 4-6 0-6
26 Feb 2001 Scottsdale T2 QF L SHAUGHNESSY 2-6 4-6
08 Mar 2001 Indian Wells T1 FR L WILLIAMS 6-4 4-6 2-6
21 Mar 2001 Miami T1 16 L WILLIAMS 0-6 2-6
30 Apr 2001 Bol T3 SF L DIAZ-OLIVA 6-0 2-6 3-6
07 May 2001 Berlin T1 64 L KREMER 2-6 1-6
14 May 2001 Rome T1 32 L GAGLIARDI 6-3 2-6 3-6

28 May 2001 Roland Garros GS FR L CAPRIATI 6-1 4-6 10-12
18 Jun 2001 's-Hertogenbosch T3 FR L HENIN-HARDENNE 4-6 6-3 3-6
25 Jun 2001 Wimbledon GS QF L DAVENPORT 1-6 2-6
16 Jul 2001 Knokke-Heist T5 SF L TULYAGANOVA 0-6 4-6
23 Jul 2001 Stanford T2 CH W DAVENPORT 6-4 6-7(5) 6-1
30 Jul 2001 San Diego T2 32 L SUGIYAMA 3-6 3-6
06 Aug 2001 Los Angeles T2 QF L TAUZIAT 4-6 2-6
19 Aug 2001 New Haven T2 SF L DAVENPORT Walkover
27 Aug 2001 U.S. Open GS QF L WILLIAMS 3-6 1-6
17 Sep 2001 Tokyo T2 SF L DOKIC 5-7 4-6
24 Sep 2001 Leipzig T2 CH W MALEEVA 6-1 6-1
08 Oct 2001 Stuttgart T2 16 L HUBER 3-6 6-4 3-6
30 Oct 2001 Tour Champs TC SF L DAVENPORT 6-1 3-6 6-7(3)
06 Jan 2002 Sydney T1 SF L HINGIS 5-7 6-4 2-6
14 Jan 2002 Australian Open GS SF L CAPRIATI 5-7 6-3 1-6

06 Mar 2002 Indian Wells T1 64 L DECHY 2-6 5-7
20 Mar 2002 Miami T1 QF L SELES 6-4 3-6 3-6
30 Apr 2002 Hamburg T2 CH W WILLIAMS 1-6 6-3 6-4
06 May 2002 Berlin T1 32 L SMASHNOVA 7-5 4-6 5-7
13 May 2002 Rome T1 SF L HENIN 5-7 2-6
27 May 2002 Roland Garros GS 32 L FERNANDEZ 4-6 0-6
17 Jun 2002 's-Hertogenbosch T3 QF L PISNIK 6-7(5) 2-6
24 Jun 2002 Wimbledon GS 64 L LIKHOVTSEVA 6-7(5) 2-6
22 Jul 2002 Stanford T2 FR L WILLIAMS 3-6 3-6
29 Jul 2002 San Diego T2 QF L WILLIAMS 3-6 7-5 4-6
05 Aug 2002 Los Angeles T2 32 L SREBOTNIK 4-6 6-2 4-6
12 Aug 2002 Canadian Open T1 16 L SCHETT 4-6 4-6
26 Aug 2002 U.S. Open GS 16 L MAURESMO 6-4 3-6 5-7

16 Sep 2002 Tokyo T2 FR L WILLIAMS 6-2 3-6 3-6
23 Sep 2002 Leipzig T2 SF L MYSKINA 4-6 7-5 6-7(3
07 Oct 2002 Stuttgart T2 CH W HANTUCHOVA 4-6 6-3 6-4
14 Oct 2002 Zurich T1 QF L DAVENPORT 3-6 6-7(5)
21 Oct 2002 Luxembourg T3 CH W MALEEVA 6-1 6-2
06 Nov 2002 Tour Champs TC CH W WILLIAMS 7-5 6-3

Venus Forever
Dec 22nd, 2002, 02:25 PM
It's gonna be a matter of time before she gets injured sliding on those hardcourts.

Penguin
Dec 22nd, 2002, 02:36 PM
nah, her mother's a gymnast, so thats why Kim is one of the few people in the world that can pull these slidings off ... for her they come natural, for us they would be impossible ... :bounce:

now the rest of her game, always putting the entire body into her shots, does make her injury-prone, but she has a strong body, that seems to hold out quite well (apart from the nagging shoulder-injury that is)

Experimentee
Dec 22nd, 2002, 02:40 PM
All the commentators on tv are saying that everytime she does those splits they think shes gonna get injured lol. I think it makes her game exciting, but it would make her more injury prone, i agree.

Volcana
Dec 22nd, 2002, 04:36 PM
I think she may be the one opponent Serena faces who can do things that Serena physically can't do. Serena can certainly do the splits, but she rolls her ankles more than Kim does. That sideways slide is riskier for Serena. The TC match certainly was entertaining, even though I was rooting for Serena.

nuriboy
Dec 22nd, 2002, 04:43 PM
I agree with Volcana to an extent. Serena doesn´t slide, because she reaches all the balls without having to slide. Kim´s style is entertaining though, but she has to watch out with that. Because on hardcourts when the courts are hot you can get burned very bad!! I´m looking forward to next year to see if Kim can keep it up.

Elleke
Dec 22nd, 2002, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by nuriboy
I´m looking forward to next year to see if Kim can keep it up.
lets hope so! I also really want to know or she can hold her form from the last months!

Fingon
Dec 22nd, 2002, 05:11 PM
I think what she does is way too risky.

Sliding on hardcourts is very dangerous and she can get a serious injury, if I was her coach I would definitely tell her to stop that.

The fact that her mother is a gymnast doesn't mean anything, this is not gymnastics, it's tennis, sliding might be part of the routine in gymnastics, not in tennis, and the surfaces are different.

Especially on rebound ace, we saw what happened to Anabel Medina Garrigues and Lina K., those injuries were almost career threatening (and they might have ruined their careers, let's hope not), and they didn't do what Kim does.

I think she must stop it because sooner or later she will get injured doing that, and seriously.

Come-on-kim
Dec 22nd, 2002, 07:35 PM
It can injured but look at Kim's legs!! There're strong!!

I don't think she can be injured like Lina or Anabel were!!

I'm also doing sliding, well, it's on indoor carpet, I don't know if it's like hard because I never played on hard! But I have the same "type" of legs as Kim and it doesn't hurt me at all!! I like doing it!! Well, believe me if you want!!

treufreund
Dec 22nd, 2002, 07:53 PM
I am more worried about her ankles and feet than her legs. I think though that all of the top players are really forced to do things with their bodies that lead to injuries. Injuries are a huge, huge problem that are actually being accepted to readily. I think that the amount of hard court tournaments should be very minimal and most of the year should be grass, clay and carpet. Rebound ace and hard courts should really be very limited IMHO.

PhoenixStorm
Dec 22nd, 2002, 08:21 PM
her sliding on hard courts will cost her one day.

nuriboy
Dec 22nd, 2002, 08:42 PM
I also think that her sliding on hard courts is a very dangerous thing to do. If she is so fast and all there must be a way that she can reach those balls with having to slide.

Fingon
Dec 22nd, 2002, 08:49 PM
Originally posted by Come-on-kim
It can injured but look at Kim's legs!! There're strong!!

I don't think she can be injured like Lina or Anabel were!!

I'm also doing sliding, well, it's on indoor carpet, I don't know if it's like hard because I never played on hard! But I have the same "type" of legs as Kim and it doesn't hurt me at all!! I like doing it!! Well, believe me if you want!!

You can play with traffic and never get rolled over, that doesn't mean it's not dangerous.

You can have the strongest legs in the world, if you are slidding with your whole body and one of your feet get stucks, you will get injured, no matter how strong you are and how many times you have done it before.

Venus Forever
Dec 22nd, 2002, 09:02 PM
Originally posted by Fingon
You can play with traffic and never get rolled over, that doesn't mean it's not dangerous.

You can have the strongest legs in the world, if you are slidding with your whole body and one of your feet get stucks, you will get injured, no matter how strong you are and how many times you have done it before.

I was just about to post the same thing.:)

An injury is bound to happen if she keeps sliding like that.

Gonzo Hates Me!
Dec 22nd, 2002, 09:39 PM
You guys, Kim has been doing this forever! It's embed into her game. And she has never had a groin injury or ankle injury. She has only had shoulder problems. Kim knows her body. If she does it, than she must feel comfortable doing it. She must be confident enough that she trusts her body not to get injured. Besides, it's Kim's signature that nobody else can do. That's beautiful. The day she stops will be the day she retires.

Venus Forever
Dec 22nd, 2002, 09:42 PM
Yeah, everyone has never had a particular injury before, but still get it. It's just part of life and playing sports. Just because you don't get it in the early part of your career, doesn't make you exempt from the rest of your career.

Plus, I'm surprised at all the Kimmy fans saying that they like this slide. Yes, it is interesting to see, but I would never encourage my favs to do it, injury is bound to happen.

jrm
Dec 22nd, 2002, 10:40 PM
her body will suffer sooner or later - let's hope it will be later or better yet never

nm_cb
Dec 22nd, 2002, 11:05 PM
I'm another player that also slides, on all surfaces, hard, grass, clay. A key factor in this is flexbilty. I used to be a realy good gymnast but stopped. Out of all the times I have done it I have only hurt my self twice. This was because I have weak ankles(not caused from sliding) I have been 2 metres away from her watching her doing the splits. She is very stirdy on her feet, she had probably grown up doing this and it's just natural. if she did stop doing the splits/sliding everyone would say, hey what happened to her splits!

Gonzo Hates Me!
Dec 23rd, 2002, 12:19 AM
Agreed!

Crazy Canuck
Dec 23rd, 2002, 12:23 AM
If it ain't broke don't fix it?

Volcana
Dec 23rd, 2002, 01:07 AM
You gotta admit, she does look good doing it.

Come-on-kim
Dec 23rd, 2002, 05:58 AM
Originally posted by nm_cb
I'm another player that also slides, on all surfaces, hard, grass, clay. A key factor in this is flexbilty. I used to be a realy good gymnast but stopped. Out of all the times I have done it I have only hurt my self twice. This was because I have weak ankles(not caused from sliding) I have been 2 metres away from her watching her doing the splits. She is very stirdy on her feet, she had probably grown up doing this and it's just natural. if she did stop doing the splits/sliding everyone would say, hey what happened to her splits!

I completely agree with you!!

The key point is flexibility!!!! I'm very flexible so that's why I can do it!!