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June 27, 2002

Kim Clijsters


MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Difficult match. Were you aware of the reputation of Court 2?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Oh, well, yeah, of course, I watch the TV, as well. I've won matches there last year as well when I was seeded. I don't worry about those things at all.

Q. How was the shoulder today? Did it affect your game?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, it felt pretty good today. I just played an opponent today who played better than me and made less unforced errors. I know today like I had a lot of chances to break in the first set and had some set points, was up in the tiebreaker. I didn't take those chances. You know, if you want to beat these players, you have to be there when you get those chances and you have to take them. I didn't take them. She played good at some of them, but I made some unforced errors on some of them, as well.

Q. How disappointing is that after the French when you lost early?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, it's always disappointing to lose a tennis match. Doesn't matter if it's the French, Wimbledon, Rosmalen. Any tournaments, I hate to lose. Like I said, it doesn't matter how big the tournament is. But, you know, I know this year, like it's going to be tough for me, you know, because I don't have a lot of match rhythm. Especially like in these big tournaments, the first rounds are going to be tough. I don't have like a lot of match rhythm, it's going to be tougher for me to win those matches easier and cruise through the first few rounds like I did last year. But it's a challenge, I think, and it's something that I have to, you know, work on like for the rest of this year until I have some more time off, you know, to rest my shoulder and my arm, and then we'll see next year.

Q. You are not considering having an operation or something?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No. I mean, the doctors gave me a few options when I went -- like when they diagnosed my problem. And surgery was probably the last one they suggested, I think, you know, because they couldn't promise me that that was going to help either. I don't want to take a risk of let's say being a year out and not being fully recovered afterwards. But for the moment, my shoulder feels okay. It just depends. It's just a matter of, you know, like having the match rhythm and the practice that I can't do as much as I was doing last year like for the rest of my life I've done. I was always the type of player who was practicing a lot more on the court than, let's say, I was in the gym. I did a lot more work on the court than maybe other players.

Q. So can you cope with that?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, it's something that I chose for, you know, at the beginning of this year. And it's tough, you know. But I know for me this year is going to be a very tough year. I mean, I didn't make the decision one, two, three. I had to think about it for a few weeks. But, I mean, I played some good matches this year, in Miami, Indian Wells. Indian Wells I lost to Dechy. In Miami I played some good matches. You know, it comes and goes. I think that's what makes it tough at the moment.

Q. But is that frustrating, not being able to play a full schedule?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I think it would be more frustrating if I would be out for six months, sitting at home, you know, doing nothing. That would be more frustrating for me, I think. I like to travel and I like to play tennis. And tennis is still a hobby. You know, like two players come on the court, one has to lose and one wins. You know, it's tough. I mean, I don't like to lose at all. But, you know, those like little details can make a difference sometimes.

Q. When you say it comes and goes, does that mean pain?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I think the level in my tennis at the moment.

Q. The level?


Q. It's not the pain?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No. Well, that comes and goes sometimes (laughter).

Q. Are you considering to play a lot this summer, as well?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, no. I mean, I'm not going to. That's why I don't want to risk to make my shoulder worse. It's tough. I have to find a good balance between playing enough, having enough rest and practicing enough. And that's why I think it's -- it's a challenge, you know, to find a good balance. It's hard, you know, because, like I said, I'm the type of player who needs a lot of matches and maybe not as much practice. It's tough if you don't have a lot of matches before going into a tournament. It's tougher, you know, to have your rhythm in those first rounds.

Q. Are you planning to arrange your schedule then so that you'll play the US Open?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I have. I mean, I've pulled out of a few tournaments already this year. I didn't play Antwerp after the Australian Open, didn't play in Scottsdale before Indian Wells. You know, I've already played less tournaments than I had planned. You know, if you lose a few first rounds, it's probably easier for me, you know, to enter a tournament. Let's say, if I do well in one of the American tournaments, maybe I have to pull out of one of them. That's why it's so tough for me, you know, to like put a schedule that I know that I'm going to play for sure. That's why it makes it hard.

Q. Martina Hingis has been beating up her body for several years now playing 25, 26 tournaments a year. She's now in a very critical position at a very young age. Is that at all on your mind, that maybe you should just get off the tour before you wind up in the same condition Martina Hingis is in?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I know -- I don't know like -- with Martina, I know the problem is her foot. I don't know if it happened at once or if it's coming from a long, long period. That's what I don't know. I know with my shoulder, I know it can get better. Even with resting, it's nice you suggest me to rest, but I also have to, you know, be able to -- I mean, the doctor says, "Well, you have to keep the blood going through and keep having everything, like you have to be able to play, as well." Like I said, the balance between play and resting is just something that I have to -- it's like a scale. It's something that I have to look for.

Q. A British government minister today has said that Wimbledon should give the same prize money to the women's champion as the men's. Is that something you agree with?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It would be great, I think, to see. But it's something, you know, that I think it's not up to me to make a comment about it, I think.

Q. You have a sister in the Juniors. Do you get nervous watching her?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I do. You know, I've always like -- even if I was playing the under-14 tournaments, when I was watching my sister, I always get nervous. You know, it's nice to be able to watch her tennis. But I get nervous, yeah.

Q. Would it be a dream for you to play against her?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Like if you see the Rochus brothers, it's always -- it would be great to be able to be in the same draw, seeing her do well and everything. But I don't know playing her. It would be nice. I mean, I would definitely want to play like with her in the doubles or something. But you don't want to play -- especially me, I don't really want to play my younger sister.

Q. How tough would it be for you if it did happen?

KIM CLIJSTERS: You know, always, it's a totally different match, I think, to be able to. But I wish. I hope she would do -- I wish she gets that far, you know, to get into the main draw of the Slams. Yeah, I mean, I would love it.

Q. Do you play similar games?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, not really, I think. You know, she comes to the net often. I mean, she's a very good doubles player. I don't know what she is ranked at the moment in Juniors in doubles. But she's Top 5, I think. She mixes her game a little bit. I don't think she hits the ball as powerful as me. But, you know, she's -- yeah, I mean, she's got a good game, I think.

Q. How special would it be if you got to team up together as doubles partners?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, I don't know if we would be a good team or not. We actually won an under-14, international under-14 tournament together once in Belgium. I don't know. I think we both would get pretty pissed at each other. If one throws the racquet, I would tell her, "Don't throw your racquet." She would get pissed at me. You know, the sister-sister relationship.

Q. Does she listen to you?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, she doesn't. Sometimes.

Q. Do you try and give her a lot of advice?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. I mean, you know, when she started to play a few of those Sanex WTA tournaments, like the 100,000 in Belgium, it's all new for her. She doesn't know all the details that are going on. Of course, I helped her a little bit, yeah.

Q. Do you think it might be harder for sisters to be a doubles team in comparison to brothers like the Bryans?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It's hard to say. I mean, I would love to play with my sister. But it's hard to say. I don't have a brother. I'm not a boy, so I don't know.

End of FastScripts….

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