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January 20, 2007

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: Question, please.

Q. After today's match, how are you pleased going into the second week?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I'm very happy we're going into the second week. This is what you do it for. This is where it all starts from. There's no better feeling than knowing all the work you do in the off-season pays off. This is what you do it for. This is where you know the physique, the physical trainings, this is where you can start using it.
I didn't get tested at all in the first three matches. I saved all my energy. I think that's a good thing to take with me into the second week.

Q. Was it a good workout for you today?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. She's a good player. She hits the ball very hard and very deep. I always had to be very focused. I tried not to let her get back into the match, which I think in the second set I did a little bit where I played a bad service game. Lucky, I got refocused and broke her back straightaway, so that was good.
No, should she is a good player. Like I said, she has a good future ahead of her I think.

Q. Where does the improvement come from for the second week?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Everything needs to get better. As you play better players, you automatically play better. I think everything from the serve to the return, everything has to be a little bit more resize, a little bit more focused, little bit more powerful. Just everything has to be better I think when you play the better players.

Q. Your would-be opponent in the fourth round isn't playing today. How much of an advantage is that for you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. It depends on the girl that I play. There's players who like to have a few matches in a row, who don't like a day off that much. So it depends how the player feels.
If it goes 7-6 in the third, if it's all of a sudden very sunny out tomorrow, it could have an advantage for me. But it depends. It depends on the player, yeah.

Q. Any extra effort you put this in this year because it's your last year in Australia?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I'm not trying any harder than I did every other time that I came here. No, I'm enjoying myself. I'm just enjoying being out on the court without having injuries, which was a totally different story than when I was here last year.
Last year I didn't even know if I was going to start the tournament because I felt so frustrated with the back and the hip and everything. I didn't know if it was a good thing to start. But, you know, I did.
Then the semifinal, I twisted my ankle. So far I'm very, very happy that I've played these three matches without feeling any major problems.

Q. Do you have any thought or hopes out here for your last year?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I definitely hope so. Like I say, I'm putting a lot of work into trying to keep it that way, maintain the shape that I'm in at the moment. I'm feeling good. I feel that I recover well. Yeah, that's something you have to try to do.
You put in the work, the hard work, and the practices, the trainings where you feel really sore. You do that in December. You just try to maintain it when you're playing tournaments.

Q. If a way, would you like a really tough match in the next round?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Not if I don't have to. Of course not. I had really tough matches last week in Sydney. Played a couple of three-set matches there. That was really good to have. In Hong Kong, as well. Played singles and doubles there. Had a lot of matches.
I think when you come down to a Grand Slam, it's always nice to save your energy. I'm definitely not complaining about that this week.

Q. How do you see the level of your possible opponents in the next round?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I've played Daniela few times already. She's a good player. When you hit the ball in her zone, she's a very, very clean hitter. I think her movement is probably her weakness. She's not a great mover out there.
Then again, she compensates really going for the lines, playing really deep shots. I think she doesn't really give you that much of a chance to go for angles because she hits so deep. That's what you have to try to do from the minute the ball drops a little bit short. You have to step in, be aggressive and move her around.
Ashley Harkleroad, I've never played against her. Seen her play a few times. Watched her play at the US Open a few times. She's a good mover, a really.
Good mover. She likes to play girls who hit the ball hard. I think she likes to take over their power. She's a good player. Has an extreme grip with her forehand. Again, if I get to play her, just try to use that a little bit.

Q. At this stage of your career, how difficult is it for your trainers, fitness people, conditioning advisors, to draw up a training program for you to get you through as many tournaments as possible?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, it's not that hard. Like I said, I had a very, very tough off-season. I did a lot of different things that I never was really -- that I'd never really done before, something completely new, which kept it also interesting for me.
There were days I had to go swimming. There were days I had to go out in the hills, in the forest, biking. There was a lot of things I had to do. That's what keeps it fun, keeps it interesting, keeps you motivated.
Because five, six weeks of training like that usually would drive me nuts, would really want me to get going and play tournaments.
Here, it was fun. It was very competitive, too. The guy I worked with, he did everything with me. It was a good rivalry out there.

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