Paris: Kim Clijsters admitted on Friday that her days of dancing barefoot are over after a freak injury almost ruled her out of the French Open.
Clijsters, returning to Roland Garros for the first time since 2006, is still wearing a heavy strapping on her right ankle which she injured at a cousin's wedding.
"I was dancing barefoot, not in high heels, and I landed on another girl's foot and twisted my ankle," said the 27-year-old, world number two.
"I limped off the floor and then someone else stood on my small toe. I was having a good time until then."
Despite the injury, the Belgian, who currently holds the US and Australian Open titles, insists that her fitness and movement should not be affected when the French Open starts on Sunday.
"I still have the heavy strapping on the ankle," she said. "I will keep it on until after Wimbledon and then see if I am able to play without it."
Clijsters has been a two-time runner-up at the French Open, in 2001 and 2003 losing to Jennifer Capriati and compatriot Justine Henin respectively.
Her last visit in 2006 ended in a semi final loss to Henin while plans to play in 2010, after a brief spell of retirement where she married and started a family, were scuppered by a leg injury.
"I enjoy the challenge of clay," said Clijsters, who will start the event as one of the favourites.
"I never used to feel comfortable because of the movement aspect, but I have always enjoyed the challenge of trying to win every point and battling for every rally."
"I prefer the impact that the my strokes make on a hardcourt when eight times out of 10 you know that the ball isn't going to come back; on clay it will come back five times in every 10."
"You have to be more patient and accept that more balls will come back at you."