home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 19, 2009

Kim Clijsters


K. CLIJSTERS/V. Azarenka
7-5, 4-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Two straight wins. How does it feel to be back now?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, it feels good. You know, yesterday after my match I didn't really -- you know, I was happy that I won, but I felt like -- yeah, I kind of had a different feeling out there. I think today that was a lot better.
I think I just fought really well and I felt like I was, you know, playing the level that I want to play. I'm still not consistent enough, but you know, most of the time, I think that's why I won.
Yeah, you know, even after being up in that second set and losing it, I think I stayed really focused and just tried to focus on what got me there, what got me to be leading in the match and just try to refocus on that and just trying to keep doing that in the third set.

Q. You seem to be pleased with your effort, but what part of your game are you proudest about today?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I think mentally was very important I think for me today. Again, like I said, you know, being up, you know, the first set and then 4-1 in that second set, she definitely stepped her game up. She stepped it up, but I think I was put playing a bit too defensive and just let her dominate. That's what she wants to do.
She's a girl who likes to play forward and step forward and hit those aggressive groundstrokes. It was up to me -- I think that's what me got to be up 4-1 in the third was that I was trying to take those first chances and trying to return well and just, you know, trying to look for those angles from the beginning.

Q. For the Serbian fans, your next match is with Jelena Jankovic, but the question is not about her. The question is -- this was from the fans. I got it by e-mail.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Okay. No problem.

Q. So is it more difficult for you to come back now as you're coming back when everybody else has an expectation about you or when you were a kid coming up when you had your own pressure on yourself? Then or now?
KIM CLIJSTERS: That's a good question, actually. Smart people. (laughter.)

Q. They play good tennis over there.
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, you definitely do.
Um, I think something that I always believe in, I think my attitude has always come from me on the inside. You know, I never felt like I was pressured by my parents or by my coach or -- and even when I was younger, it was something that I really wanted to do.
I think that's where maybe a lot of other tennis players out there, it's different, because I always felt like I was the one who wanted to play tennis, and I was the one who wanted to improve.
That's still the same way now. So even now I still feel like, you know, being back on tour, I have a lot of the same feelings that come up and same emotions that come up from when I was 14 and 15, although I'm a lot older and I've been through a lot of tournaments and I've experienced a lot.
But I think these last -- you know, even my training regimen was -- yeah, it just brought back a lot of those feelings that I had when I was 14. So it's not that I feel, you know, in the past that I was pressured. It's something that I always managed to try to stay focused on what I tried to do.

Q. Quick turnaround for you going from the night match last night to day match today. Any concerns about stamina at all? Do you feel like it was a good test for you to sort of go into a match like this and go into three sets and test your durability?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Um, yeah. You know, I had a few of those tests last week in Cincinnati, as well. I felt like physically, you know, besides a few aches and pains and some sore muscles, there was nothing major going on.
And the same now, I mean, yesterday was -- it's not that it was physically a very tough match out there yesterday. I just overall felt a little tired yesterday.
You know, I had a good night's sleep, and I think that's what helps you out there. And also, I think the opponent is also a factor I think for me always. You know, I always try to raise my level to the opponent that I play. In the past I've always been good at that whenever I play a good player, you know. In the beginning of the tournaments, I kind of just make sure that I got through my matches and I kind of raised my level, you know, with whoever was standing in front of me at the net.
So I think that was the key definitely today, as well. I raised my level when I had to.

Q. Do you think that your win today says anything about the fact that like the state of the game for women that you, who have been away for two years come in now and are beating the players who -- I mean, Victoria Azarenka has been labeled the next, you know, No. 1 player. And you come out here and you beat her today. So do you think that that says anything about -- I mean, has there been like a mediocre line of...
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, maybe that says something about me.

Q. Yeah, it does say something about you.
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no. Look, that's the thing. I mean, it's very hard for me to say in these last two years how tennis has changed and how -- you know, obviously Azarenka is one of the girls that was there and that had some good results when I was, you know, when I was, you know, playing and when I was at my best, like she had a couple of good results but she was still very inconsistent.
I think obviously now she has more experience. But still, I think a lot of the girls these days that are up there, they play a very similar game. You know, they play like a tennis game, like this is a perfect game, playing that aggressive tennis, stepping in and just really hitting the ball over the net and not giving your opponent a lot of chances.
But then on the other hand, if that doesn't go the way that they want it to go, I feel like the plan B is not always there. And that's something that, yeah, I think that a lot of girls -- you know, look at like a Venus, Serena, even Justine, even myself, I think we've worked -- even if we're not playing our best game, we can still work on -- we still have a plan B. And I think with a lot of girls these days, I think that, you know, when they play really well and everything goes the way that they want it to, they're the best. I mean, they can hit you off the court in 40 minutes.
But if it doesn't go the way that they want it, I feel like there is, yeah, the level drops a lot all of a sudden. I think there's no real -- I think maybe that's something, if you can keep hanging there and keep focusing on those chances, I think you always -- I mean, in a match, you always have a few chances, whether it's one point or whether it's a couple of games.
If you can take those, I think that's when -- that's really the key for me now as well is really try to stay in the matches and, you know, when I feel I can take my chances, really go for it.

Q. Just as a follow-up to that last question, when you look at the state of the women's game and the way it is now, was that part of the motivation for you coming back, looking at the game, sort of saying, Okay, I can get out here and I can actually win against some of these players, or was it strictly you just wanted to get back on the court? A lot of people might think you're out of the game for two years, and the state of the game the way it is, it may be difficult to compete. Is that part of the reason why you decided...
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, for me it was strictly personal. I only started watching tennis again kind of at the start of this year, kind of when I decided that I wanted to make a comeback.
I never really -- again, I didn't even have the time to watch TV and just to, you know, be sitting, you know, on the couch for a couple of hours watching or following whoever was on TV.
No, I think it was for me it was more personal, I think. It was just seeing, you know, can I still, you know, get back, can I get back into shape, into the shape that I want to be in and that you have to be to be able to compete with those top players.

Q. Is it hard to leave the game? I mean, you've seen a lot of female players especially leave the game at a young age and come back. I mean, I think of Jennifer Capriatti. There's others out there who have left and come back because they like the game so much. They've got to get back in it.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. You know, I know in the past there have been a lot of players. I think there's a difference with me just being out, out of it completely for two years and not having done it and having a baby that for me just physically it was -- that was the biggest challenge for me to just get back into shape physically.
I think Lindsay and Sybille Bammer are the only women that were on tour in the last few years and that are on tour who it takes so much more effort and work to just get your body back in shape. That's something that I never even experienced -- I've never worked harder in these last eight months to get in shape than, not even -- I mean, not even when I was 14, 15.
But you have to if -- once I decided to make that comeback run, I wanted to be back out on the court. I knew that, okay, this is how I want to feel physically. This is how I have to feel physically. That's why it took me a long time. That's why I waited until Cincinnati, because I really felt like I needed that long to really be, you know, ready for it.

Q. Could you just talk about the timing of your return? What made you decide to come back during two of the bigger summer tournaments, Cincinnati and Toronto, versus easing yourself in maybe at a lower-level tournament?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, this was, you know, my whole team, I think we spoke -- I spoke with my coach, I spoke with, you know, with my fitness trainer, especially with my fitness trainer. I think it was the main key was not to rush into it and not to just decide on playing even a low tournament, because my attitude out there is just to go for it.
It doesn't matter if I'm playing a girl who is ranked 200 or 100 or top 10. My attitude is always going to be the same. I didn't want to go out there and, you know, kind of be half ready and know that there were some physical weaknesses still that I, you know, didn't address or still was working on.
So I felt like Cincinnati was, you know, at a good time maybe. You know, maybe Stanford would have been possible early, but I didn't want to overdo it all of a sudden. So I decided just to do Cincinnati, Toronto, and then the week off and then the US Open.
I've always felt good with taking the break before a Grand Slam, especially -- not in Australia, but at the US Open I really felt like that week off before the Open always did me good.
So far, I mean, I can't complain about the scheduling that I've had. It's been going well.

Q. Can you give us a sense of what your training regimen was? What was a typical day or a typical week when you were getting ready to come back?
KIM CLIJSTERS: In the beginning it was mainly focusing on, you know, my fitness, especially there was a lot of long endurances just to get the fat off and just to, you know, get that endurance back. That was the main key.
And then you start -- you know, when you felt like that was getting -- my fitness coach was, you know, in charge of the whole, the numbers and the statistics, you know, measuring the fat and all that stuff. So I didn't -- I didn't have to worry.
I would go and meet him at what time I was supposed to, and then he was in charge. But yeah, so mainly in the beginning the first few months were, you know, that was the biggest part, I think.
And then once in a while there would be some tennis involved, and just for myself keep it fun. Then as, you know, my basic endurance and my basic physical strength was there, that's when we started to do the specifics, the intervals, the quick feet, the strength. Then every day I did core, stability workouts and just, you know, getting the hips and everything back into shape after having given birth.

Q. Was that five or six days a week?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, six days a week, and then Sunday was like a recovery -- there was mostly like a longer run just to recover, and then maybe a sauna or, you know, like a hot/cold bath and just do recovery from the week, and then Monday we'd kind of start all over.

Q. In terms of your own expectations for yourself after a match, after a day, after a victory, where are you? Are you where you hope to be, ahead of schedule, behind schedule?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I really feel like tennis-wise, there's really good patches in my matches so far, and that's what I'm really pleased about. That's, you know, the positive thing that I take out of my matches is that focusing on my tennis, I feel like my level, I can play some really good points and games and just kind of have the feeling back from the past.
But then there's the inconsistency a little bit that comes and takes over a little bit, and you know, go -- yeah, you try to rush a little bit once in a while, and that's something that you just have to get a feel for it again, you know, getting that feel for, okay, I'm rushing, you know, take your time, really just kind of reading the game a little bit when you're out there.
And then, yeah, I think mentally I think I've been really good, you know. I really felt like I've been really focused on what I'm trying to do out there and not really worry too much about my opponents or the way that they play, you know.
Obviously I know beforehand, you know, what the weaknesses and the strengths are, but I'm really not trying to -- and I don't think I'm ready yet to build my game, and I've never really done that, build my game around my opponent. Like I always have to try to go, you know, start a match with my strengths and see from there. If that's not good enough, that's when you can start, you know, changing up a little bit your tennis and your tactics and just, you know, if you can break down your opponent.
But I think so far I'm pleased with the way that everything has been going. You know, last week in Cincinnati and maybe today as well the serve, you know, is still a little bit inconsistent, I think. But again, the serve I think is the toughest shot after being away for that long. I think it's the toughest stroke to just get back, get the feeling back. So it will take time.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297