* Clijsters retires hurt in fourth-round match
* Has struggled with pinched shoulder since January
* Is eager to resolve problem before claycourt season
(Adds fresh quotes, detail)
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
INDIAN WELLS, California, March 15 Kim
Clijsters pulled out of the Indian Wells WTA tournament on
Tuesday because of a lingering shoulder problem, conceding her
fourth-round match to Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli 3-6 3-1.
Although the Belgian world number two had won the opening
set on the hardcourt surface, she summoned her trainer for
treatment on her shoulder when trailing 1-2 in the second and
withdrew one game later.
Bartoli, the 15th seed, advances to the last eight at
Indian Wells where she will face 19th-seeded Ana Ivanovic, a
6-4 6-2 winner against fellow Serb Jelena Jankovic earlier on
"It's not that I'm really, really worried about it, but it
is something that I have to pay attention to and that I don't
want to risk," Clijsters, a double champion at Indian Wells,
"Can I take painkillers for it and not feel it during a
match? Yes, I think so but I don't want to risk tearing it. I
don't want to be ... taking medication to cover the pain, not
knowing if it's getting worse during my match."
Clijsters has been taking pain killers to cope with a
pinched right shoulder since before she won her fourth grand
slam title at the Australian Open in January.
After losing to Czech Petra Kvitova in last month's Paris
Open final, the Belgian had hoped to regain full fitness while
taking a break of almost four weeks from competition.
"I just wanted to see how it would go here," she said. "I
had treatment with my trainer, but I wasn't playing. I had my
usual mobilisations, some acupuncture, a lot of loosening up.
"In Paris, I had a really bad neck injury, which was
probably a little bit related with the shoulder. Obviously
something is not the way it should be in this area so I'm gonna
have to figure out, have some tests and then try to solve it."
Clijsters said her osteopath was not with her at Indian
Wells but would join here in Miami for the WTA tournament
starting next week.
"After Miami we have Fed Cup, which I'm taking very
seriously," the 27-year-old added. "And also obviously the clay
court season, which is a very tough part of the season for the
shoulders. I'm gonna have to make sure that I'm fully healed
until I start playing on that surface.
(Editing by Frank Pingue; To query or comment on this story