July 2, 2001
MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Not really a tennis question, but you and Lleyton have been an item for 18 months or so now. I just wondered how much it helps you, because you travel so much, how much it helps you kind of get through life on the tour.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Oh, well, it's just nice to have someone -- just someone with you on the tour. It's not that I see him every tournament. Like at the big tournaments, at the important tournaments, it's nice to have someone who you trust and, yeah, like who's always there for you. I mean, we live a very lonely life. We have to travel every week. So it's not easy to make a lot of friends. So this is, yeah, for me, I feel comfortable with this, yeah.
Q. What about you guys on the mixed doubles court, do you have a good understanding?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yes, very good, yeah. I mean, we played pretty well together. First time we played, we lost in the quarterfinals together at the French, and then last year here we played in the finals. So, yeah, we play well together.
Q. You don't fight on the court?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no, no, no (laughter).
Q. Was that how you guys met originally?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. I've known him for a while already. I've seen him around at the tournaments, but not doing like nothing special.
Q. And will you watch him this afternoon?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I'll try. I've got doubles. I'll focus on that first.
Q. When you're in a close match, a lot of tiebreaks, what is your reserve mentally? What do you focus on to get you over that?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I just think once you're in a tiebreak, I think it's very important to focus on each point. I mean, in tiebreak, everything is possible. I think it's very important to try to win the first point. That's already like a good step. And I'll try to break the opponent's serve in the first point. So, yeah, I mean, I was a bit lucky in the second tiebreak today. I was lucky that she served a double-fault at 4-3. But, I mean, that's tennis. And then I hit a double-fault afterwards (laughter). But, no, I mean, I played very good today on the important points, yeah.
Q. What about maybe the final of the French Open, which was also so close in the third set? Where does your mental strength come from?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I think I have it from my dad. He was a soccer player, so he was always -- he was one of the players that was always fighting on the court, and he would hate it if someone took the ball away from him, or if they could score a goal or something. I think that's where I get it from. I hate losing in any game. Like in cards, if I play like four in a row, I hate losing those games. Yeah, I just hate losing, I think, yeah.
Q. Back again talking about Lleyton. Do you find that it helps? You obviously have more contact with the men's game. Do you find that helps with sort of the way you hit the ball, the way you approach things? Do you find you have some sort greater insight into that?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I think the women -- I think for me it's good to watch a lot of men's tennis. I think we can learn a lot out of that. Of course, they've got a lot -- they've got more strength than us, so the difference is maybe too big like to do the same things that they're doing. But some things we can really learn out of men's tennis, I think, yeah.
Q. What do you think about the WTA World Championships, changing from New York to Munich?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I've only played it once, and I really enjoyed the ones in New York. It was great. It was a great experience for me. Yeah, I mean, it's nice to have it close to Belgium, as well. That's probably the good thing. But, yeah, I mean, it's the only time I've played. I've only played it once. But it was a nice experience and I hope it's going to be nice. If I make it, I hope it's going to be nice in Munich.
Q. Will it be a special title for you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: To win it?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Of course. I mean, you've got only the best 16 players there. So, of course, it would be great to be able to win it. But, I mean, that's something that I'm not thinking at the moment. I mean, I still have to get there.
Q. The different kinds of things you notice as your play goes up different levels, where the season-ending Championships are going to be three or four years ago is not much of a concern one way or the other now each year? Do you start to pay attention to different things?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, not really. Like, I know that the WTA people, they come and ask me like my meaning, what I think about these things. I mean, that's nice. It's nice that the top players, that we get to have a say in those things. And we discuss it together, and we've got a few top players who work -- like who sort of do these things for us. And I think that's good. I mean, that's a very good organization from the WTA, I think.
Q. When did they start coming to you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Once you start -- I think once you're in the Top 16 or Top 20. Like you've got like different categories. You've got like the Top 20 is together, and then I think to the Top 16, then you've got like the Top 16 to the Top 50, they're a group, then the Top 50 to the Top 100, they've all got responsibilities and people out of those groups that work for them, that are responsible for them.
Q. The first time someone came to you as a Top 20 player, said, "Kim, it's important to us what you think," is it nice to make you feel like you made it into the upper group?
KIM CLIJSTERS: They asked that already when I was in the Top 50 or the Top 100. It's not that much of a difference, yeah.
Q. You either play Jelena Dokic or Lindsay Davenport in the next round. What are your thoughts about that?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I saw that Lindsay won the first set. It was tight. I mean, Jelena has been playing very well here at Wimbledon, and even in the Juniors she did well here. So, no, it's going to be a very, very tough match. Like doesn't matter if I play Lindsay or if I play Jelena. They're both very good players, both very professional players. I mean, yeah, doesn't really matter.
Q. Will you approach it any differently to your match against Meghann today? They're both better grass court players than what you've had so far.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I think Meghann is quite a good grass court player. She serves very well. The same if I play Lindsay. Lindsay is a very -- she serves very well. She won it here two years ago, so she must feel very comfortable here on grass. I mean, I'm in the quarterfinal. I just focus. Doesn't really matter. I focus on myself, yeah.
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