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January 11, 2003

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Kim, please.

Q. Was that perfect preparation for next week?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It's always nice, you know, it can't go any better. But, you know, it doesn't mean if you -- I mean, it's shown before that players who win the tournament before a big tournament, you know, it's always tough to focus back on that first match because you're probably still on a roll from playing quarters, semis, then all of a sudden like it starts all over again. It's always a bit harder when, you know, when you come from -- like if you have a win, to just refocus again. You don't really get a lot of time to enjoy it, especially, you know, before such a big tournament. But it's nice. I mean, it's always good. I'm playing well. Maybe today I didn't play that well, but, I mean, I think the weather conditions weren't, you know -- were tough for both of us I think. We both like to hit the ball in the middle of the racquet. I think with the wind it was tough for both of us.

Q. Kim, from the semis last year against Hingis to the final against Davenport, what parts of your game have gone forward?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I think I'm a lot more consistent than what I was about even half a year ago, you know, to a year ago. I think that's, I mean, I think like I said yesterday in my press conference, I think that's what you learn. It's not really that I've been working on that, like specifically. It's just something you learn by playing matches and being in tough situations and just keep, you know, keep your cool and keep everything under control. I think that's, you know, very important to, you know, just -- even I think I'm playing a lot better on the big points as well. Even today, I played well when I had a breakpoint down, served well. On her breakpoints, I, you know, I played well I think.

Q. Do you think you're hitting the ball harder?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Maybe. I mean, it doesn't feel like I'm hitting the ball hard. I think it's just a matter of being more consistent I think and moving. I think I'm moving better and I'm, you know, I'm seeing the ball better, I think, than what I was.

Q. Lindsay said she thinks you're definitely going to win a Grand Slam. Do you feel you're there now?

KIM CLIJSTERS: You're never there if you haven't done it. I mean, it would be nice, of course. But I know for myself, I work hard for every tournament I play. And if it happens, you know, in a Grand Slam -- in a small tournament you have to win four or five matches. In a Grand Slam, you have to be there for two weeks and you have to, you know, do everything for two weeks. I think that's still, you know, may be something that I have to get a little more experience into the Grand Slams I think. But who knows? I mean, it's possible. But in a Grand Slam all the players are so much more motivated, and especially players like Venus and Serena. They get really fired up for those big events. Once it comes to the quarterfinals, semifinals, they get really fired up for those matches and they play even better. So those are the matches where you really have to get everything out of the closet.

Q. Have you ever felt more confident going into a Grand Slam, considering you finished the year 3 or 4, and now you've won the first of 2003?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Feeling confident, I mean... Like I'm not the type of player who's going to feel disappointed. I mean, even before the French Open when I made the finals, I mean, I don't think I won a match in three tournaments. I lost first round in almost all my matches - in all my tournaments. So it doesn't -- those things don't really bother me, I think, even if I do well or I don't do well before a Grand Slam. Every day is different. That's, you know, in a tennis career, one day you can play unbelievable tennis and then in the next day, there's so many things can go wrong. That's why I just try to really focus from day to day and not really worried about what I'm going to play or who I'm going to play next or how I'm going to play next.

Q. Some of us like to have a little bet on the tennis and try to win some money here and there. You think we should have a bet on you and Lleyton both winning in Melbourne?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. It's up to you, if you want to, you know, put your money (smiling)...

End of FastScripts….

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