September 5, 2001
NEW YORK CITY
MODERATOR: Questions for Kim, please.
Q. You have to be pretty disappointed in your level today.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. I mean, I had a lot of chances I think to win more games. I got like a few short balls to finish the point. It's always hard because you sort of expect every ball to come hard. Once you get a shorter ball, you don't expect to go forward. You're like ready at the baseline trying to get the ball back. That's why I couldn't like play my own game a little bit I think today, because she just had the pressure on me the whole time.
Q. Gave you a lot of second serves to look at today, 70 to 75 miles an hour range. A lot of them you were just banging out.
KIM CLIJSTERS: It's hard because they bounce up pretty high, so I was sort of expecting, like I said, she always hits the ball like flat, and the first serve is also very flat. When she hits the first serve, it comes a bit higher. You don't expect to hit with more speed. I've never played against her before, so this was an experience that I've got more now, and for the next time I'll keep those things in mind.
Q. You seemed to be playing very quickly today. Did you feel like you were rushing yourself?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. That's me. I've always done that since I was playing the under 10 tournaments in Belgium. I've always done that. That's just me. I think I've noticed that a lot of media, they notice it more when I lose matches than when I'm winning. I think I did it against Dementieva, as well. That's just me. I've always done that. A lot of people have like told me that I have to slow down a little bit. But that's just my game, I think, yeah. I'm always a bit rushy.
Q. Reflect on the tournament overall.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Definitely I can't complain about anything. I've had a great year. I've had very good Grand Slam results this year. I'm in another quarterfinals. I mean, I'm playing good here. Also with my leg, it was hard in the beginning to get like through those first rounds because my level wasn't very good. But, no, like I'm happy that I could be able to play like the quarterfinal again on center court against Venus, who I never played. It was like a good experience for me.
Q. Was she playing the dominating game that she usually plays?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, she hits the ball so deep. She definitely like made a lot of unforced errors, as well. When she's on her top game, she doesn't make that many unforced errors. But she's always like a player that makes a lot of good points and also unforced errors. So that's why it's so hard to get in your rhythm and to, like, make the chances that you get.
Q. Is it because she hits the ball so hard back to you, you're trying to keep her deep?
KIM CLIJSTERS: It's hard because she hits the ball so deep, so it's very hard for you to keep the ball deep, as well. As soon as you like hit the ball a little bit short, she just finishes off the point. So it's very hard. I was up like a few times like 30-Love up on my own service games, Love-30 on her service games, I just couldn't finish off the game. That's also experience. But I've had experience, more experience, than I had like a year ago. I mean, I couldn't do much about the way she played today, I think.
Q. How impressed were you with Venus?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I think in the beginning I started off pretty well. I had a lot of -- I had a few breakpoints and everything. Like she hits the ball pretty hard. Like I expected that before I went on the court. But it's still different when you're standing out there and she serves really well, I think, yeah.
Q. A little more work, maybe another match against her, do you think you'll be able to tee off on her second serve a little better than you were today?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, maybe I will. You also have to keep in mind, I haven't been able to practice a lot here. With my leg, I didn't want to put too much pressure on my leg when I had those rest days. So, yeah, I mean, maybe yes. I'll keep that in mind for my next match that I play against her. Maybe you can tell me that again (laughter).
Q. Isn't that where you need to attack Venus?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Definitely. Definitely you have to take every chance you have. I mean, if she gets a second serve, her second serve is not as good as her first, so you definitely have to take those chances whenever she misses a first serve, yeah.
Q. Any frustration with the point to set up match point? I know you were questioning the call. Was that indicative of the day?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, I don't know. I don't know. Like I thought it was out. So did the people sitting there (smiling). Not much you can do. The balls come fast for the umpires, as well. It's sometimes hard for them to see, as well, yeah. Of course, it's frustrating at those points. Not much you can do about it, I think.
Q. Did you come close to your highest level today?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I don't think so. I mean, like I said, it's hard to play your best tennis against those players because they don't give you a lot of chances. They give you chances, but they don't let you play your own game. Against a player like Dementieva, you have a lot of rallies. The rallies take a bit longer, so you can get into your rhythm. Today, I didn't have the feeling that I was getting into my rhythm very well.
Q. Even though you've seen Venus play before this, once you got on court, was a lot of it unexpected, meaning how hard she hit her shots, the types of serves she was throwing at you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, I think Lindsay hits the ball as hard as Venus does. But Venus just hits the ball a little bit more deeper and a little bit more to the lines. I think that's the difference, why she beat Lindsay the last couple times she played her. Yeah, I mean, she plays, like I said, very deep and everything. So it's hard for me to play my own game against her.
Q. Are you surprised at how fast she is?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yes. She only has to take like two steps to go like from one side to the other (laughter). She's got great footwork. She moves very well on the court. Yeah, I mean, she's got everything, I think, to be a top tennis player, yeah.
Q. Playing on hard courts, after a few matches have been played on the same court, the ball can leave a shadow. Do you think chair umpires should come out of the chair a few more times and just look?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Because you can see the marks clearly all the time, I think. So sometimes I think, yeah. Maybe they only expect to come out of the chair when they're playing in Roland Garros on clay. I think did you definitely see the marks, so I think they should come out of the chairs sometimes, yeah.
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