June 26, 2001
THE MODERATOR: Kim Clijsters.
Q. How do you like the way you played today?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Was not too bad. The score was a lot easier than it actually looked. But I was playing well, I was hitting the ball well, and it's a little bit different than the courts in Rosmalen. I didn't have time to practise on these grass courts yet, but I'm satisfied with the way I played. And tomorrow I'll probably have doubles so that's another good practise match for me to be ready in the singles.
Q. How is this different from Rosmalen?
KIM CLIJSTERS: In Rosmalen, the ball was bouncing very, very low. Because it's, yeah, under the grass, it's like normal earth. Here, they make it on something else. So it's a lot harder here and the ball bounces quicker and a little bit higher. And it's quicker here. So I was feeling that the grass was a little bit slippery as well. But I was moving well, and, yeah, it was okay.
Q. How does it feel now to come into a Grand Slam as seriously one of the favourites? Not just someone who's seeded, but someone who had just reached a Grand Slam final and almost won, and essentially a player to be feared by other players in the draw?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I'm not really thinking of that. I mean, I'm just focusing on each round and I'm not feeling like -- I know I'm seeded, but I'm feeling the same as I was two years ago, even last year, I'm feeling the same. So there's no difference for me actually.
Q. And this surface, compared to clay, how much more comfortable are you playing on grass?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I think my game suits quicker courts a little bit better because I can hit the ball hard so the balls come even a little bit more quicker. But even on clay, I can hit the ball -- like I'm probably one of the few girls who can hit winners from a metre behind the baseline on clay court as well. So then on clay, on clay, you need a little bit more patience. I don't really have that much more patience. I like it, the courts are quick here and I served well today. So, yeah...
Q. Has practising with Lleyton helped you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: We don't really practise that much together because he's a little bit too good for me. But like sometimes we just hit but then it's not like really 100 percent. We just mess around a little bit, but nothing serious.
Q. Is it nice being able to see quite a bit of him at a tournament you're in together?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, that's nice. I think it's good for me to watch a lot of men's tennis and I think, like, women, we can learn a lot out of men's tennis, yeah.
Q. From a personal point of view?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Sorry?
Q. From a personal point of view?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I mean, it's nice. It's nice because on the Tour, like it's -- the tennis world, we're always by ourselves and we have to, like -- we travel with the coach of course, but it's nice to have someone, yeah, to have someone so close to you and to be at the same tournament as you. So it's nice for me, yeah.
Q. When did you actually start dating?
KIM CLIJSTERS: About a year and a half ago.
Q. Would you say Justine is a better player on grass than she is on clay?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. I think she's got -- she's good on every surface I think. She's got -- she can build her game like on which surface she's playing. She uses the slice a lot on grass, so she's a very good player and she has improved her serve a lot. She's hitting the ball a lot harder than she was a few years ago. So I think she's a good player on any surface, so, yeah. She's an all-around player.
Q. Do you think there's still room for finesse and touch in the women's game? Or do you think it's pretty much all of a power game now?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, of course there is still like touch and everything, but like if you see like the new, upcoming -- like, you've got Bovina, Dokic, Dementieva, Krasnoroutskaya, they're all hard hitters. There's no like slice, no one's playing serve and volley and touch. So I don't know, you have a few players that are playing, but it's hard, I think, for those players if you're playing one of like the Williams sisters or something. So it's quite hard to play the touch game if you play one of the hard hitters, yeah.
Q. Since you watch a lot of men's tennis, could you see yourself, for example, coming into net more and using more touch volleys? Or is it just not a style that you think suits you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: On grass I'll try. I mean, that's why I'm playing doubles as well. I'm playing doubles to work on my game for my singles and to work on my serve and to work on my volleys, to come to the net a little bit more in singles. So, yeah, I think that's one of the main reasons that it's good to watch men's tennis.
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