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September 25, 2009

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Clijsters focuses on slams

KIM Clijsters will center her 2010 schedule as much around young daughter Jada as around the four grand slams, planning a limited program that will put family first.

The US Open champion will limit the rest of her 2009 program to just one tournament in Luxembourg next month before heading into two months of intense training for the Australian Open.

Next year, Clijsters will be on show little beyond the four majors, four more mandatory tournaments like Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing, and a few preparation events.

"We have to see how it will work out as a family," Clijsters said.

Jada, her 1 1/2 year-old toddler, already stole hearts around the world when celebrating the US Open title with mommy. But Clijsters also intends to give her a normal life away from the courts as much as possible.

"Things have to remain fun for Jada," Clijsters said.

A limited program will also be good to keep her injury-free. However, she is pretty much forfeiting any chance of getting back to the No. 1 ranking, as she will miss opportunities to rack up points throughout the season.

"A No. 1 ranking is not what I focus on," she said. "It would be nice, but grand slams are the big thing."

Winning the US Open also helped inspire her longtime Belgian rival Justine Henin to come out of retirement. But Clijsters isn't fazed by Henin's return.

"It doesn't really matter all that much to me," she said. "I'm sure she will produce great tennis."

In Seoul, defending champion Maria Kirilenko of Russia advanced to the Korea Open quarterfinals by beating Francesca Schiavone, who retired with an injury early in the second set.

Kirilenko was leading the third-seeded Schiavone 6-1, 1-2. She will next play seventh-seeded Vera Dushevina of Russia, who beat Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 7-5, 6-1. Top-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia also advanced, defeating Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa 6-1, 6-1.

Hantuchova will next face Kimiko Date Krumm of Japan, who eliminated fifth-seeded Alisa Kleybanova of Russia 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3.


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