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May 16, 2003

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: First question for Kim, please.

Q. This is good training for tomorrow's match?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Definitely. I think the first two matches I played I think were completely different players than Anastasia today. I think the first two, they were more with the slice and stuff. I think the player today plays a little bit more like Ai tomorrow. I think Anastasia made a lot of mistakes, I think. But tomorrow against Ai will be a tough one because she really likes to go for the rallies and she's really fit so she can go a long way.

Q. On TV I thought I heard someone say you were a doubles partner with Ai. So you know her game really well?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, in doubles I do. It's a completely different thing, singles and doubles. We've been playing together for two years now, and we've been doing really well this year. We've gone, in each tournament we've played, we've gone at least to the finals in all the tournaments we played. I know her, you know, personally a lot better than some of the other players because, you know, I spend a lot more time with her. It's great to see her do this well, this good as well. Maybe it's a little bit tougher to play someone you know really well, but I'll just try to, once I get out there tomorrow, just try to block it out and just focus on my own game.

Q. How come you aren't playing doubles here?

KIM CLIJSTERS: This week , well, after Berlin, I strained my hamstring a little bit and I felt like I didn't want to make it worse by playing too much before the French. I just didn't want to make my legs like too tired. Especially in the doubles, you know, it's -- the type of doubles Ai, my doubles partner, and I play, it's very, you know, very aggressive tennis and we always like to come into the net as quick as possible. So I didn't really want to push it too much, I think, by playing the doubles. And for her as well, I think she was happy to have, you know, a more relaxing week and just play the singles.

Q. Could your French Open preparation be going any better than this?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, but I've learned out of experience that doesn't really have anything to do with the way you play at the French. I mean, the year I made the final, I didn't win one match in either of these tournaments where I, you know, lost first round in Berlin, first round here in Rome. So I didn't win one match before getting to the French. So it doesn't really mean a lot, I think. But, yeah, it's nice. Of course you feel comfortable and you feel like you're playing well and that's definitely, you know, a better situation to get into a tournament when you're feeling well. That's always, you know, an advantage I think. But, you know, in tennis, it can change from one day to another I think. Doesn't mean if you play well let's say today, tomorrow could be a complete off day. That's what makes tennis, I think, so interesting as well. You don't always have it in your own hands, the way you're playing.

Q. You don't feel like you're peaking too soon maybe?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No. Well, no. I would like to peak all the time, of course; that would be nice. But it's, you know... The way I see things, I try to, you know, win whatever tournament I play. It doesn't matter if it's a small tournament or a Grand Slam, I just try to take everything as serious as possible and, you know, focus on every tournament 100 percent. I think that's, you know -- I've always done that. I've come quite far with it, so I'll just keep doing it, yeah.

End of FastScripts….

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