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January 10, 2007

Kim Clijsters


Q. Nice to get a quick one when it's hot?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Definitely. It's the warmest day since I've been here, so it's nice to get it gradually a little bit worse. It was nice but not like this, so I got to get used to it a little bit, and today was good.
I think this is why you play these kind of tournaments is to try to get as fit as possible and get as comfortable as possible in these situations. It's perfect to take this with me to next week.

Q. Would you call it a perfect day?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, there's still a lot of things that I felt like I could improve on. I didn't really get tested today. There's a lot of things that you -- when you play a match like this, you don't look at your opponent, you just try to work out things for yourself.
You know with the wind you need to move around a lot better. You need to take a lot more smaller steps. You always have to expect the ball to change direction. That's what you try to do out there. You try to come to the net a little bit more, and I did that today, and it worked well. You just try to work on a few things, and that was good. I think I ended up pretty well, and I served well. I think that was a lot better today than I've been serving so far throughout the whole trip that I've been here. So that's good, gradually getting better and better.

Q. At this sort of stage in your career, are you still looking to bring new things to your game, or is it more just a matter of sort of getting everything that you already know perfect, or are you sort of reaching maybe?
KIM CLIJSTERS: You always try to improve things. I mean, I've always been a girl who likes to be very aggressive on the baseline, but I've always tried to work on coming into the net a little bit more. In practise I do it a lot, but I think something in matches is holding me back every time, and that's why this is a perfect example, matches like this. And like yesterday, it's very good to try to practise coming in a little bit more, using that drive volley and following through, and those are little things that you never stopped learning enough and you can always become better because I think that's what makes you a top player is once you decide on this is my game and this is where my game is going to be, then I don't think you can go any further. And I think that's what you always have to try to keep expanding, what you're good at, but make it even better, and work on everything. You always have to work on everything. Everything can always be better.

Q. Over the break you had cooking lessons?

Q. I'm just wondering if you prepared a special dish for Christmas dinner.
KIM CLIJSTERS: I had too many people for Christmas over. I get too nervous when I have to cook in front of a lot of people and I have the pressure, so we ordered. We ordered a lot of food for Christmas, but it was fun having the cooking lessons, but not yet. I'll just test it on Brian, and then if he's okay I'll try to do like the bigger portions (laughter).

Q. Is there a specialty that you do?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I love making pastas. I love that. That's fairly easy. Yeah, so that's what I love the most is making pastas and trying a lot of things. I'm not really a very good cookbook follower. I like to try stuff, and if it tastes good then it tastes good.

Q. Shouldn't you test the food on the dogs first?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, they can't really tell me how I'm doing, can they?

Q. If they don't eat it you've got trouble.
KIM CLIJSTERS: That's true. They eat everything. They eat some of the leftovers, not too much, but sometimes. They always seem to put it down very quickly. I think they like it.

Q. Is there some sense that this is going to be a really enjoyable year for you being your last year and that you almost can sort of relax and sort of savor it as you work through this season?
KIM CLIJSTERS: It's true, like you enjoy the details a lot more, I think. You enjoy -- let's say in the last few years when I would come to Australia, you play tennis and you automatically assume, well, I'm going to see all the people that -- I'm going to see them next year again and you kind of say goodbye, see you next year.
But that's going to be a whole different story now. That's what I'm definitely going to take very seriously is try to -- the people that I really like and that I've met over these last few years here, keep in contact because it might be a long time before I'm going to see them again. That's what being a tennis player has definitely taught me is we're very lucky to see all these -- to meet these really nice people with different cultures and everything, and that's something that I've really enjoyed. So yeah, that will be hard, too, not seeing everybody again.
But now with technology there's a lot of things that you can do, so yeah, that's one thing that I'll definitely try to do, and it's easy, take a lot of pictures and all that stuff.

Q. Is that having a positive impact on your game, as well, at the moment?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I've always enjoyed playing -- the only times when I wasn't really enjoying myself was when I was kind of restricted because of injuries. But I've always enjoyed traveling and going to places; coming to Australia I've always thought was great, and some of the highlights of my career. Yeah, things are going to change now. Yeah, it's really good.

Q. Do you think you haven't had sort of a normal life because of hotels and traveling all the time and that cooking and cleaning are going to be hard to do?
KIM CLIJSTERS: You get very spoiled; you realise that when you're in a hotel room and you don't have to clean your bed, you don't have to change the sheets yourself, you can push the button on the phone and order food and it's right there. And when you're at home I'm doing all that myself, cleaning the house and cleaning the windows and whatever, just name it, and that's fun. I enjoy doing that. I don't know if I'm going to enjoy that in seven years or in eight years, but at the moment -- I'll just get a cleaning lady if I have to (laughter).
But I do. It was the hardest thing to pack ever, leaving to come here. I was home for a very long time, and with the injuries, as well. I've enjoyed being at home and building up my life there and getting a routine, I think, as well. In the past going to Belgium was kind of a break, just washing clothes, packing them up again and then I would leave again. But now I'm finding that routine at home and I feel very comfortable there. It's fun. You know, both lives are fun. It's a good mix.

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