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January 20, 2003

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How aware are you, although you're not thinking of the semifinal, that people around this tournament are thinking of the semifinal between you and Serena?

KIM CLIJSTERS: (Inaudible) I don't really, you know -- there's still a match to go before it happens. I think we both have a pretty tough one. Serena has a tough one against Meghann, and I'll have a very tough match against Anastasia. But if it happens, it would be great. But if it doesn't happen, I think there will be other great matches as well.

Q. Good match tonight.


Q. How hard was it for you to get ready for that match after Lleyton's result?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I tried not to watch too much, because it's always a little bit tougher. I was waiting in the hotel room. I tried not to watch too many of the other matches either that were on TV. I was actually watching the Oprah Winfrey show in the afternoon. That took my mind off everything a little bit. It's always a little bit tougher, especially when the matches are so close and exciting, to focus about your own things. You want to watch the TV more than making my drinks or anything. You just lose -- you know, you lose time. So, you know, I really tried to, you know, do my own things and try not to worry about it too much.

Q. Was it a letdown when you heard that he had lost?

KIM CLIJSTERS: You know, it's never nice. I mean, it's always, for someone like him, you know, because I know him so well, to lose , I think there's a lot worse things in life than losing a tennis match. If you see all the bush fires and everything that are happening here in Australia now, I think a tennis match is nothing compared to, you know, all those things that are happening, you know, in the rest of the world. I think, you know, as long as, you know, as we're all aware of that, I think a tennis match is not the end of the world.

Q. Did you say that to Lleyton?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I haven't seen him, no, no.

Q. Is this the smoothest progression you've had in a Grand Slam?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I think so, yeah.

Q. Is that related to how you finished last year, do you think?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. I mean, I'm sure it's helped. But on the other hand, I had a while off as well, you know, I had a break in between. But I'm definitely feeling very fit and, you know, very motivated on the court to -- and fresh. I mean, I'm really hungry to play a lot of tennis, and I feel well. I want to be out on the tennis court and hitting a lot of balls.

Q. Would you like a tough three-setter? You've had, what, ten games, I think that you lost. Is that going to be a danger, that you'll play a tough one sooner or later?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, but, you know, it's on one hand, maybe yes. On the other hand, maybe no. Once, if I have that tough match, I know that I'm gonna be fresh, fresher than the other girls. On the other hand, you know, once maybe, you know, when it comes to some tighter situations, I might be not as experienced in this tournament. But on the other hand, I've had some tough matches last week in Sydney where, you know, where I had to really fight for all my matches. I was playing well there as well. But, you know, I had to fight a lot harder to, you know, win them. I think those matches really helped me to get through these matches here pretty easily.

Q. Do you feel you're playing the best tennis of your life?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Probably the most consistent period I've been playing. I've always had -- I think my highest level has always been, you know -- close to maybe even a little bit higher than my best level. It's never been as consistent as it is now. I used to maybe play one or two good matches, then maybe one not as good, or two not as good. So, you know, now I'm not having that. If my game goes off a little bit, like during a match, I'll just pick it up again during the match. I never used to be able to do that. So it feels good to, you know, knowing that I'm capable of doing that.

Q. You've lost 2-1 to Anastasia in head-to-heads before. How will you change your approach?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I think the last time I played her was in - I'm not sure - I think in Leipzig, I think it was.

Q. Filderstadt.

KIM CLIJSTERS: Filderstadt, in Filderstadt. I think I won that one. So I lost in Leipzig and won in Filderstadt. She's a very, very tough opponent. She runs a lot of balls down, plays very consistent, doesn't make a lot of errors. Her weaker side is probably her serve, you know, so it's going to be very important for me to attack that second serve. I'll have to return well, you know. And then, like I said, you know, keep the unforced errors very low because that's what it's going to come down to, I think.

Q. If you have easy matches like that, do you do a little bit of extra work?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I have my doubles, yeah. So whenever I had the day off, I had my doubles matches as well. We're still going. I'm actually playing Venus and Serena tomorrow in the doubles. It's nice to have those type of matches as well, you know. Because when you practice, it's never the same I think than playing a proper match and having, you know, a little more stuff to work on. And you focus, you know, you're focusing a little bit more on serving well and returning well. I like to play my doubles and singles at the same time.

Q. Would you pick up anything from playing them that would help you against them in singles?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, not really. It's not that I've never played them, you know. Maybe, you know, if I played players who I've never seen before, I've never played before, it's always nice to maybe see them play in doubles and play them in doubles just to see how they serve, which side's better to serve against them. But for the other, once I know the opponents, I'm not really concerned about, you know, how they play in doubles or anything.

End of FastScripts….

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