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July 6, 2003

Kim Clijsters


MODERATOR: In the interest of fairness, we'll have five minutes in English, five in Flemish and five in Japanese. Should we start with English, please.

Q. How does it feel to be Wimbledon champions?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It's nice, because she's played with -- she's made the finals with Julie Halard already and once with me. I made the finals once. So it's nice to have a win, yeah. It's great.

Q. What makes you such a good team?

AI SUGIYAMA: Oh, I think, well, first of all, we're good friends. We're very close, so we know how we feeling each other. And I enjoy it so much playing with her. And that's the most important for me. And also, tennis-wise, we match us very well. She hit the ball very hard from everywhere and I kind of move at the net. So it's a good combination, I think.

Q. Kim, it's an obvious question, but does this in any small way make up for any disappointment of the Venus game?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I think it's a thing in itself, you know. I think to be a Wimbledon champion in doubles is great. And after to win the French, I mean, you know, I was disappointed after the Venus match, but it's a different -- it's sort of like a different tournament, you know, singles and doubles. But, no, I'm definitely very, very excited about this win.

Q. Can you remind us how you got together as a team.

AI SUGIYAMA: We tried a couple of tournaments two years ago.

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I think in San Diego, was that the first time? Against Testud and --

AI SUGIYAMA: Yeah, yeah.

KIM CLIJSTERS: We tried. But then I got injured with the shoulder, with my shoulder. I didn't play doubles for a year. Then we started again.

AI SUGIYAMA: Yeah, we started from this year --

KIM CLIJSTERS: This year sort of full-on, like the whole schedule.

AI SUGIYAMA: We've been doing really good.

Q. Are you starting to feel invincible as a doubles team? That's two Grand Slams in a row.

KIM CLIJSTERS: So far, I mean, I don't think we've played a bad match I think in both of the Grand Slams that we've played. We've been, you know, especially beating, you know, winning the French Open finals against those two girls, because they're definitely, you know, very good clay court players and clay court specialists. So we knew that was gonna be a tough one. To win on clay, which we thought was definitely not our favorite surface, and to win there, definitely I think gave us a little motivation to win today.

Q. Is the visit by Concorde a nice way to win your Wimbledon title?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It was noisy (smiling).

Q. Does this make up for the loss you suffered from Kim in singles?

AI SUGIYAMA: I totally forgot about the singles already (laughter). I had to play the doubles the same day, and I really focus on doubles so much, yeah...

Q. You say you're good friends. What does someone from Belgium and someone from Japan have in common?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I speak fluently Japanese (laughter). No, but we don't talk English to each other on the court. It's all in Japanese. She, whenever I hit a good shot, she's talking in Dutch to Flemish to me, saying "good job." I say...(Speaking Japanese). Yeah...

Q. You realize now you're gonna have to answer questions in Japanese?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I'm only talking tennis-wise (laughter). Only to Ai, so, see, not to the press (smiling).

Q. Does the hand pat behind the neck have any significance?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, that was to Lleyton's friend. We were just being silly. There's this Australian show on TV, his friend always does it. He goes, "If you win, you have to do that and make Ai do it as well." So I told her to do it to him, so he's pleased now. Maybe made Ai look stupid, but...(Laughing).

AI SUGIYAMA: Yeah, for sure (laughing).


AI SUGIYAMA: No... (Laughing).

End of FastScripts….

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