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August 21, 2005

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Kim, please.

Q. Was it easy to deal with the wind?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, it's just at the start, because when I was warming up this morning, there was no wind and, you know, it was easy. But at the start of the match, I just had to find, you know, your footwork a little bit. I had to get used to the ball changing around all the time, just had to really like move your feet all the time and just be on your toes all the time. And I did that, you know, pretty well. But I think at the start, I was surprised a little bit with the way the ball was moving. It took a little bit -- a few games to get used to that, and I think also for Justine. But I think I managed pretty well to get used to it earlier than her.

Q. Can you talk about the stretch in the first set when you were up 4-1, then Justine came back? Were there any specific thoughts that came through your mind or did you have to sort of gather yourself?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I think that's what I did really well today. I think I stayed very focused and very patient throughout the whole match. You know, even when I was 4-1 up, I was playing really well at the start. I was moving around, just from side to side, you know, opening up the court a lot. But then, you know, a couple of times with the wind, maybe I wasn't moving my feet that well, you know, just missed a few easy shots, I think. But, you know, didn't really let it get to me. And I think that was important to me, just don't really -- you know, because I know she's a very good player, when she's down, she can play really well when she comes back. Just had to focus and make sure I made first serves, at 4-All that I kept focusing on my first serve, try to keep that in.

Q. Was this one of the quickest tournaments you've ever had? Your average time on court has been less than an hour per match.

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, it was (smiling). Especially with having the walkover from Ana, as well. And then having the bye, it was. Especially for such a big event, with so many good players, yeah, it was a quick one (smiling).

Q. Was it even more satisfying that you win your sixth title against a player who has given you some troubles in big tournament finals?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, it's always great to beat players that you've lost to a few times. Especially against her, I've lost to her some big matches already. It's great to win some, as well. So, yeah, but any tournament victory means a lot. I don't know, for some reason since my injury, you know, they mean twice as much now to me now. I enjoy it a lot more. So, yeah, I'm very happy.

Q. How do you feel this sets you up for the US Open?

KIM CLIJSTERS: You know, I'm playing well, and I think -- I don't think I could have done much better with my preparation. You know, what really is important for me is having a few days off now because I've had a good summer and I've played four weeks straight, so I need -- when I have four or five days off without touching a racquet, just going to the gym, running, you know, do all my shoulder exercises, you know, my stabilization exercise, and all that but don't -- you know, don't think about tennis too much. Once I get to New York Thursday or Friday, I'll start hitting.

Q. Given the way you're playing heading into The Open, what would it mean to win that title and how much do you want to get the monkey off your back?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, there's no monkey on my back. You know, I don't know. That's a hard question I think to answer because I'm not there yet. I have to focus and I have to work hard on everything. As long as I do that, you know, no matter what will happen, there's going to be 127 players that are going to try to do the same thing. They're going to try to work very hard. They're going to try to go for it. You know, some players have better chances than others. But, you know, each is individual, and I'm going to work hard and train hard to just give myself another opportunity to, you know, go play those big matches again, semifinals, finals, and we'll see what happens. It's hard to answer questions, "How much would it mean for you if you win it," because I don't know. I've never been in that situation, so I don't know.

Q. Your coach is saying that he wanted all the talk to kind of stop.

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, you know, there's a lot of talk about it. But, like I said, yesterday too, like a lot of people just focus on the things that I don't have. I know I haven't won a Grand Slam. But, you know, I've won a lot of other things, and I've been working very hard. You know, I'm not stopping yet. I'm at least going to play for a couple more years, three more years, and we'll see. Yeah, I don't know. I don't really focus on that too much. I think the media makes a bigger deal of it than I do.

Q. Three more years? What's after that?

KIM CLIJSTERS: My body, you know, I would still like to play -- have a healthy body when I'm a little older. I don't think my body can handle this lifestyle for that much longer.

Q. You said you were going to take a couple days to yourself. Where are you going to go?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I'll go see my boyfriend in New Jersey.

Q. Are you going to chill out, go shopping, relax?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, just relax. His family is there. Just hang out with my friends there. My cousin will come with me. I'm still going to work, I'm going to go to the gym, have my massages every day. I'm not going to do crazy things. I'm not going to waste a lot of energy, going out partying. I'm just going to, you know, relax and just, you know, be away from tennis for a little bit. But just chill, I mean, yeah.

Q. How much did having the walkover this week fit into things? Was that very important or just nice?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It was very nice (smiling). I mean, you know, obviously Ana is a nice girl, I get along pretty well with her. It was good timing for me. I mean, in a way, you know, I was looking forward to play against her because, you know, she's a great player. But I think that match would have taken a lot out of me, I think. After Razzano's match, I was a little tired, I felt my legs were heavy. That day off definitely helped me a lot.

End of FastScripts….

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