Defending champion Kim Clijsters confirmed today that this will be her final Australian Open.
“Look, you never know, but I doubt it,” she responded when asked if she’d be back. Clijsters has said that she will retire after the summer Olympics in London.
“I just felt very focused on why I’m here, and that’s obviously 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 said.
Clijsters won the title a year ago beating Li Na. But since has been hampered by a slew of unfortunately injuries including a hip issue last week in Brisbane.
“I’m doing good,” she said. “I think what happened in Brisbane was something that I knew kind of was something that would only need a few days to get better, and it did. I had my scan just to make sure the day after, but that showed no problems. So I was relieved. Yeah, came to Melbourne and started hitting when I got here.”
The 28-year-old Belgian four-time Slam winner said that the last year’s trend of four different Slam winners could continue is again this season.
“I don’t know ’cause out of the four girls last year, you know, besides Serena, who is probably even more powerful than the four of us, it’s all very close,” Clijsters said. “So I think on any given day, whoever just plays that little bit better can win. I think that’s why a lot of girls have belief in their chances to win a Grand Slam is because they have beaten some of the girls that have won Grand Slams before. I think that’s something that this year, you know, a lot of the top players are going to have to be very careful with. There’s going to be a lot of lower‑ranked players who are still going to have big opportunities to beat some top players and get chances in Grand Slams. 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 quarterfinalists or semifinalists in the draw. I think that’s completely different now, which makes it more fun. But I think you have to be ready from the first match onwards because you can have really tough matches already.”
Clijsters begins her title defense against a qualifier in the first round.
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