Cli­jsters: I need to lis­ten to my body

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

AN­TWERP, Bel­gium: Kim Cli­jsters will take greater care over her sched­ul­ing in 2012 af­ter in­jury in Au­gust brought this sea­son to a pre­ma­ture end.

The four-time Grand Slam ti­tle win­ner suf­fered an ab­dom­i­nal strain in Toronto which ruled her out of the US Open where she was the dou­ble de­fend­ing cham­pion.

The 28- year- old Aus­tralian Open cham­pion had pre­vi­ously in­jured her right an­kle in April while danc­ing at a fam­ily wed­ding, pulled out of tour­na­ments in Rome and Madrid with right shoul­der and wrist in­juries be­fore los­ing in the sec­ond round at the French Open.

She was also forced to skip Wim­ble­don be­cause of a foot in­jury.

“The start of 2011 was re­ally good. But af­ter that I made some de­ci­sions I no longer would make now,” Cli­jsters told her of­fi­cial web­site on Thurs­day, just hours be­fore she was due to face world num­ber one Caro­line Woz­ni­acki in an ex­hi­bi­tion tour­na­ment.

“Af­ter a phys­i­cally and psy­cho­log­i­cally very stren­u­ous Aus­tralian Open, the in­door tour­na­ment in Paris was the one event too much. Now, I'll be lis­ten­ing to my body much bet­ter.”

The Bel­gian, now at 13 in the world, will start her 2012 at the WTA tour­na­ment in Bris­bane on Jan­uary 1 be­fore be­gin­ning the de­fence of her Aus­tralian Open ti­tle.

“I will take things one tour­na­ment at a time, but above all I would like to im­prove my game. I have been work­ing re­ally hard at my ser­vice, be­cause that of­ten did not go well in the past year,” added Cli­jsters, who hinted Fed Cup may take a back seat in 2012 to her Olympic Games am­bi­tions.

“I have spo­ken to team cap­tain Ann De­vries, but I have not de­cided any­thing yet. The year will be very busy al­ready with the se­quence of Wim­ble­don and the Olympics.

“I'll see how things are af­ter the Aus­tralian Open. Should I do as well as last year it might all be a bit much, but should things go not too well Down Un­der the Fed Cup might be an ap­pro­pri­ate chal­lenge.”

In the ex­hi­bi­tion match, played in front of around 10,000 fans, Cli­jsters edged Woz­ni­acki 6-2 7-6 (7/5). – Sa­paAFP

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