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June 28, 2001

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you assess your performance today?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I played good enough to beat this girl. I didn't play my best tennis, but I played good enough to beat this girl easily. Still I was pretty happy with the way I served today. After my first singles match, I went and hit a few more serves, practised my second serve, and today that was well. So it was a good point, yep.

Q. Have you noticed other players looking at you differently, or maybe fans or other people at tournaments looking at you differently?

KIM CLIJSTERS: You have to ask those. I don't know.

Q. Have you noticed it?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no, nothing different, no.

Q. Not just since the French, but in general when you go out to play them for maybe the last year, that they take you differently on the court?

KIM CLIJSTERS: They know my game better and they know the way I play and they know what I'm like personally as well. I remember when I came here two years ago, no one knew who I was and no one knew the way I played. And they all know. So that's the only thing that has changed I think.

Q. You feel much more like a tennis pro than at that time?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, no, I was doing the same things then that I'm doing now. I was preparing the same way for a tennis match as I'm doing now. Of course now I play some bigger courts, I play on like show courts. That's the only difference. I'm still the same as I was four or five years ago, yeah.

Q. When you came here two years ago and you played Steffi Graf and lost, do you think that today your attitude has changed towards the game, towards this tournament, towards the people here?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I really like coming back here. I'm always looking forward to coming, and had that since I played the final of the Juniors here. I really enjoyed it. I liked the atmosphere here, although it rains sometimes. But I like it here. And it's still close to Belgium, a lot of friends can come. My family can come. I love the atmosphere at Wimbledon. It's probably one of the nicest Grand Slams for me, I would say.

Q. Has the attitude of players towards you changed since then?

KIM CLIJSTERS: That's what she just asked.

Q. Do they respect you more? Do you feel they look up to you?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no. I think all of the top players, they respect everyone. I think that's what makes them top players. I mean, of course like I've got respect for everyone and we all have respect for everyone. So there's not really anyone that we don't like or that we don't have any respect for.

Q. What would you say that you've still got to work on in your game? What have you learned about your tennis this summer?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I think I showed that I can play good tennis. But I think that I have to be a little bit more consistent. But I've got a game that is very aggressive. That means I'll make more errors than Aranxta Sanchez because she'll be on a practise court making ten errors in those four hours - that's probably not even good for her, ten errors in those four hours. I'm the type of player that will try to finish off the ball quickly, even though sometimes it's not on the right ball or the right point. Yeah, that's probably the difference between players like me. Like Jelena Dokic is the same, like Bovina, like Krasnoroutskaya, those girls.

Q. Did you learn more about yourself through tennis?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, you get -- you have to. Like in the tennis, you have to be a little bit selfish towards yourself. I mean, you can only look after yourself. Yeah, I mean, I've grown up quicker as a 16- or a 17-year-old girl, I think. I've seen the whole world. I've travelled. So those are things that I've learned quicker than other 17-year-olds.

Q. As you probably know, Lleyton's having kind of a tough time out there, lost the first set. If, just for the fun of it, you could magically go out there and whisper something in his ear, what would you tell him?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I don't know. I didn't even see anything of the match, so I don't know if he's playing well or if Lleyton is playing bad. Or is Dent playing unbelievable? I don't know. But I don't know what I would say to him. I don't know. Just "Keep trying," probably. But I saw Dent hit like a 147 miles-per-hour serve or something, so that's ... Lleyton is a good returner, but that's like probably a little bit too fast for him.

Q. After your splendid showing in Paris, did that, shall I say, inform more people in Belgium about tennis who probably never cared about it?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, that's what I heard. I heard like in a few clubs they had like four or 5,000 more people like writing -- like coming into a club, becoming members of a club. So that's good. I mean, I really like that. That means that they've enjoyed it. And, yeah, maybe they're gonna try it as well. Yeah. That's what I like, yep.

End of FastScripts….

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