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March 28, 2005

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English for Kim, please.

Q. Are you kind of having fun with the fact that you're kind of a floater out there, you're not seeded for the first time, knocking off some seeds?

KIM CLIJSTERS: That's not really on my mind. You know, I just try to do whatever I can. Like I try to do my best out on the court. And, you know, whether you're seeded or not, you know, that doesn't change the way I look at my matches. Not at all.

Q. Usually you have the bull's eye on your back, people want to knock you out. It's like a role reversal.

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no. It doesn't, you know -- maybe for the other girls, it's just a little bit different at the start of the tournament. I can play the seeds a lot quicker. But, you know, it's, you know -- this is what, you know, you're used to playing against those girls, but now you just play them in earlier rounds, I guess. It's, you know, it doesn't really bother me too much.

Q. How do you feel? Obviously, you seem like you're not rusty at all. How is the wrist?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Good. Everything is feeling pretty good. Starting to get a little bit tired, I guess, which I guess is a little normal. Few little aches and pains in other parts of the body. But just I was very happy to get through this win today. I think this was definitely a tough one. You know, like I said, definitely didn't expect to be playing so many matches here this trip, so everything is a bonus.

Q. In the second set, you were trailing substantially. What turned it around for you?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I think I just tried to just keep the errors down. I tried to, you know, like I said, I wasn't feeling -- you know, I was tired out there in the second set, and I was starting to feel it a little bit. But just tried to, you know, make her -- if she was gonna win that second set, let her play. Don't give it to her and make her play. Then she started to make some mistakes, a double-fault here, a double-fault there, and then it can change pretty quickly.

Q. You may be playing Dementieva. What's your history with her?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I played against her last week in Indian Wells. We had a pretty good match. I won in straight sets. It was a lot of good rallies and it was a good match. Like, it was fun to play against her. I think Golovin is winning at the moment. She's up. She won the first set. I've never played against Golovin. That will be a first time.

Q. What about Myskina, do you think she was a little bit off today?

KIM CLIJSTERS: You know, she was hitting the ball, you know, like a few games really good and then a few games she was making a few mistakes. Even when I was down in that second set, I told myself, "Try to make her make the mistakes," and try to move her around so that she starts -- like make her make mistakes. I tried that and then it worked - luckily.

Q. Are you feeling like when you're out there playing, do you feel like there never was time off, or do you still feel like there was time off?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Oh, yeah, definitely. A year, you just don't forget a year.

Q. What feels different when you're playing?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, at the start -- you know, now I'm sort of getting back used to like the life back on the road. But just everything is different. You have to get used to it all again. I guess it's the same for you guys. You guys travel a little bit as well. If you're home, you know, for six months in a row -- like I've never been in that situation before. That was definitely something new. Just everything - the atmosphere, the waiting. You know, everything. Everything you can imagine that comes with it.

Q. Is there anything you miss about being home and just being able to sit on the sofa?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I did that for a long time and, you know, I met a lot of new people in Belgium, made a lot of friends because I wasn't home for that long, never home for that long. So that was the good part. I got time to spend, you know, I had a lot of time to spend with my family and my friends. That was definitely the fun part. At the end of it all, I definitely started missing the tennis, yeah.

Q. What's taken the longest to get back, your conditioning, ground strokes?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I definitely tried to, while I got injured -- and it's not that I had anything wrong with my legs or anything, it was my wrist, so I could still run a lot, work on my speed, do some little sprints and everything while I was injured. So I tried to be as fit as I could be, when the doctors told me that I could start hitting my first backhands again, so I didn't have to worry about my physical strength. But then just, yeah, the strokes. I think the serve and definitely the backhand has been the shot where I've had to work on the most.

Q. After Indian Wells and now down here, do you think you are 70% 80%? Where do you see yourself now?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't really look at myself in numbers.

Q. In your preparation, physically.

KIM CLIJSTERS: Physically, I feel really good. Today I was, you know, tired. I think the match yesterday against Nathalie I think took a lot out of me. I felt really tired after that one. But I feel, physically, I feel good. Like I said, few little aches and pains. But I guess if you ask all the other girls out there, you know, if they feel 100% I think no one will tell you; everybody will have something.

Q. Me, too.

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah (smiling).

End of FastScripts….

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