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January 11, 2007

Kim Clijsters


Q. When are you getting married?
KIM CLIJSTERS: After Wimbledon.

Q. How much does it mean to make the final? You've missed a couple years through injury and then you had to pull out last year.
KIM CLIJSTERS: It means a lot, especially if you can win them like today. I think it's always -- that's always a bonus. I think any match, any extra match that I can have here is great. It's only a positive thing, I think, to take that along with me for next week.
My first two matches were pretty easy, and then winning this one in three sets, a close one, I really got tested. So it's a good thing to get through matches like this.

Q. I know you've played here before, but do you keep learning things from the same place, because that killer forehand she had, you were trying to get away from it?
KIM CLIJSTERS: She's definitely become a lot more consistent, I think. The last few times I played her I felt like she was a good player and she could really show some really good things, but it was never quite consistent enough to make it hard for the top players, and something that I think she changed a lot is that she does good things when she has to do it, whereas in the past when it was getting close she would make a few easier mistakes than what she did now.
That's only for the better. I think you get that by experience, by playing bigger matches, and it's great to see that she's -- I think to me she's the best Chinese girl out there. She's a very powerful girl and moves well, has a good serve, and she's a good player. She's really improved a lot, I think.

Q. You thank her very much for keeping you out there a long time today?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, a little too long maybe. It was fun. It's nice to be out on the court like this and be challenged, not just by your opponent but by the heat and everything, so that makes it a lot more challenging, I think, for you out there.

Q. How do you recover, go and sit in an ice bath?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I went for a jog. It's really important after a match to just loosen up your muscles because being nervous and having really short workouts when your heart rate is kind of going up and then you slow it down a little bit by resting between games. I think it's very important after a match like that to just run -- I'm not sprinting, but just to jog for ten minutes and have a good stretch afterwards and just like cool down the muscles. It's good recuperation, I think, for your muscles and for your brain, as well, kind of just take it easy and breathe and drink a lot and then stretched for about 20, 25 minutes.
There was a snake and a koala bear inside, which is not always in my after-match schedule, but today it was, so that was fun.
I just had an ice, ice cold shower, just stood there.

Q. Can you elaborate on the snake and the koala bear?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, they had a snake, a real snake and a koala bear upstairs. The snake, his name was -- her name was Tinkerbell, and the koala bear was Frasier, but he was sleeping a lot. But the snake was --

Q. You don't know your opponent just yet, but could you just talk about them both individually and the challenges they present to you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, Jankovic has definitely -- is a girl who has improved a lot, as well. I've played her a few times, and I feel like every match that I've played against her she's become better. She looks more confident out there, and she could get really like uptight, like really angry at herself and lose a few games, give them away by just getting down on herself, and I think it's really important -- I think she notices that, that she's a lot more positive out there.
I think she is a great mover, plays the tennis I think that a lot of the top girls play. She goes for her shots, she likes to take risks and she defends very well. I think that's a very good combination that she's shown over the last few weeks where she's done well.
And Vaidisova, again, she's a young girl, really good serve, goes for her shots, plays aggressive tennis, likes to step into the court and take the ball early. So I think when I get to play Vaidisova, it's going to be really important for me to let her move from side to side and not let her play her own game.
Against Jankovic I'll have to be patient, as well. She has a really good backhand down the line, so I'll just have to wait and see out there, I guess.

Q. Can you explain what happened with the line call dispute during your match there today?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I was just trying to forget about it. It's not a big deal now, but just when I served -- I didn't even know if the ball was in or out, but I saw the linesman go like this (indicating) and then correct -- he was like "out," and then correcting himself. So I saw him move so I thought he called it out. So I went to the line and it was called out. Then the chair umpire asked the linesman if he called it out and he said no, it was the ballboy. I'm like, "What?" It doesn't matter.

Q. Break point, though, it was pretty serious?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, of course. Those things happen and you just try to forget about it as soon as possible, try not to let it influence you and just try to focus on what you have to do, so I tried to do that. But it happens. You know, those are things that happen. We're all people out on the court. Everybody can make mistakes. I make mistakes out there. It's normal, so it doesn't matter.

Q. Physically are you feeling fairly sound, no niggles or anything like that?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, just a couple blisters on my toes, but that's fine. That's nothing to worry about. That's all. I mean, I feel pretty good. Yeah, just looking forward to my massage later.

Q. What about in the off-season? Some of those points where you had to constantly had to slide the backhand you didn't (inaudible) too much. Your fitness must be good.
KIM CLIJSTERS: The only difference I think from training in the off-season in the winter is that where the cold was like hurting my lungs, here it's the heat that's hurting them. So it's kind of complete opposite situations. No, I was doing a lot of things. I was working out on a lot of hills, in the forest, doing a lot of sprints and just a lot of things, mountain biking, running, even a little bit of swimming. In the mornings I do a lot of swimming, and just combining that with practise.
You know, it made it a lot of fun for me because it was very -- not just every day the same thing. It wasn't every day doing more exercises. The guy I work with, he really tried to mix it up so I still was working on my physical training but not in the same way as I usually always do it.

Q. This attitude you've got of savoring everything your last year of the Tour seems to be serving you well early in the season.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, so far. I'm not complaining. Yeah, things are going well. I'm enjoying it. It's a lot of fun. Like I said yesterday, I'm just trying to enjoy all the other things a little bit more, as well. It's not that I'm being a tourist, but I do enjoy the things that happen at the club a little bit more, like on-site and at the hotel. You just enjoy going to dinner a little bit more and just being in the hotel room. Yeah, it's nice.

Q. What do you love most about Sydney?
KIM CLIJSTERS: It's such a beautiful city. It's so nice, like wherever you go. We're staying at the Four Points at Darling Harbor. It's nice to walk around there and then you can go to the opera house and walk around there, and it's a lot of fun. I actually have a couple of my family members that have never been here, so it's nice to just -- when we got to dinner just to walk around there and take some pictures.

Q. What of your family is with you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: My sister is here, my cousin is here, he's my physio.

Q. Your cousin is your physio?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, he's my physio. Then I have Wim, he's not a family member, a good friend of mine, he's my hitting partner, and my best friend Caroline is here. She was with me in Hong Kong already. My dad was in Hong Kong but he left. Too hot for him in Australia.

Q. And your fiancé?
KIM CLIJSTERS: He's not here. He's playing.

Q. When did you get engaged?
KIM CLIJSTERS: March last year.

Q. I love your ring.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Thank you very much.

Q. You don't wear it while you're playing tennis?

Q. I was looking to see if I could see it.
KIM CLIJSTERS: I always wear it. I would lose it if I always had to take it off and put it back on.

Q. Justine pulled out for personal reasons she hasn't explained fully yet. Have you been in contact with her, spoken to her at all?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I have. I've been writing some messages with her over the phone, but that's about all. I'm not a person -- we keep that between us, and we talk to each other, but that's -- I'm not here to talk about that to you guys. You know, she's going through a tough time, but I hope she gets through that well and comes out stronger.

Q. Do you expect to see her back playing tennis?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. I mean, she's a tough girl, and I'm sure that she's going to be back stronger than ever.

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