November 17, 2000
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK
Q. Why so many mistakes?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Many mistakes, well, I think it was a very high level match. And the rallies were so long and you have to think that I only played my first match on Monday, so now it is Friday already. So it is not that I had a lot of match rhythm, but I don't think that I played a lot of mistakes. She is just a player who keeps bringing all of the balls back in. She is a very tough player. She keeps on running and she is very fast. She moves very well, and then, yeah, well, I had like a few problems with my returning today. It was -- yeah, like I just couldn't feel the ball on my returns, like the first set and the second set, and the third set it was better already.
Q. As disappointing as the result is, did you have fun out there tonight?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Oh, yeah, I loved it.
Q. Could you sense that this is the first time the crowd has really roared in this tournament?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I really love the crowd in New York, even like at the US Open and stuff I really love it. I think -- I like the crowd. I like it when the crowd gets into it. I had fun here today.
Q. Through two disastrous games, down Love-40, you win the game, she is up 40-Love, you win the game to 4-2. Do you feel you might have had that?
KIM CLIJSTERS: It could have been like the other way around then, as well. Like I had to fight a bunch for those games, and, yeah -- and then like at 4-2, she started to keep the balls a long time longer in the court than I did and she started to serve a little bit more precise than me. And, yeah, well, that was the thing that changed the match, I think.
Q. Were you surprised when they overruled on the last --
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, 15-Love.
Q. Did it look even close to being out to you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I thought it was in, but that's tennis. I have to forget about that now.
Q. What makes her so good?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I think that she's very consistent and she runs very well. And she even like -- she hits so many winners with her forehand. Especially the biggest thing is that she moves so well, and she can hit like winners all over the court.
Q. Wouldn't she describe you the same way?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, you would have to ask Elena.
Q. Was there a particular reason why you were going to the backhand slice shot -- (inaudible) -- I notice you were doing that quite a bit?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I made a lot of points. I only use the backhand slice because I could not hit the two-handed backhand anymore. Like the drop shot, I think I had some good points. I think I made some good points at the deciding moments. The drop shot, like one, when was it like at the end of the third set, I missed one when she passed me. But, yeah, that's tennis. Like if you try it once, you win the point. If you do it once, you lose the match point. That's tennis. It's not like that I didn't fight or anything. I just kept going for my shots.
Q. When you look back on this year, what will stand out the most?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I didn't really expect to be here. So it's just a great thing to be here, to have been here once, so I can tell my children when I am old that I played here.
Q. Is this the highlight of the whole year for you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, this is like a present for me for having -- from a good season this year. Yeah, it's just great to be here. It's great that I played well at the end of the year that I am allowed to be here.
Q. What do you take away from something like this --
KIM CLIJSTERS: I get a lot out of my matches. I think it was a very tough match. I think it was a high-level match. I think that I can -- that I can start aiming to, like, high positions now like on the Tour. And I can beat better players as well, because I think she is a good player, Elena.
Q. Do you see this as the beginning of a very good rivalry?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I'm feeling that I'm -- that I'm a lot more confident on the court and I'm a lot more consistent on the court. Like a year ago or a few months ago, I still used to have like a very good -- I used -- my level used to go up and down, and now I can keep my level at consistent. So I think that's a very good thing that I learned in the last few tournaments and the last few months, yeah.
Q. What were you supposed to be doing this week?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Practicing in Las Vegas for the Fed Cup.
Q. Any big plans for next year -- (inaudible)?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. First thing that I'm playing next year is the Hopman Cup, and then I play Sydney and Australia. I might be seeded now at the Australian Open now. But I'm looking forward to going to Australia. It's a good tournament. I really love it there. I hope to do well there.
Q. You said that your first match was on Monday; so now it is Friday. So you had a lot of time to do what?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, a lot of time to rest, especially. But I did some shopping yesterday, and, yeah, well -- and the day before, I just visit New York a little bit.
End of FastScripts....