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January 20, 2010

Kim Clijsters


K. CLIJSTERS/T. Tanasugarn
6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you like your nickname, Aussie Kim?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Geez, I definitely wasn't expecting that question (smiling).
Do I like it? I mean, it's obviously something that was put on me a few years ago when I used to come to Australia a lot and stuff. But, uhm, let's say it's not the nickname that my friends and family use.

Q. You have to be proud from the things you did in Brisbane when you visited the hospital for the kids. Who made you such a sensitive person?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Who made that?

Q. Yes.
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. Genetics, I guess. But especially more after we had our little girl it's even gotten worse.
But, yeah, it did have an impact on me. You know, I just hope that, you know, because of doing something like that, that it brought more awareness for other people to do something similar. Even small donations, they're happy with everything. It can help them in every way.

Q. Was that Jada there watching today?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, another one. The one that was in the box, she's almost four, four and a half. Jada is not that big yet.

Q. How did Jada handle such a long trip? How was she?
KIM CLIJSTERS: She was actually really good. That's the one thing that I was a little bit worried about, a little bit scared of before, when I was packing everything. My hand luggage was, you know, crazy. I had a whole bag with toys and just everything to try to keep her entertained.
The first flight from London to Singapore, she was really good. She slept well. So we were almost, you know, past the halfway mark. Then the last part, she's at an age where we can say, Okay, we kept telling her, We're going to see the kangaroos.
She was happy. She watched a little bit of TV, did some coloring. There wasn't a lot of sleep for me. But it was fine. I was just happy that she wasn't keeping the cabin awake.

Q. How is your level out there? Bit of a hole in the second set. How do you feel like you're striking the ball?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, no, I feel good. Physically I feel good, as well. You know, I feel like, yeah, I'm good enough on the day to beat my opponents. It's not with my best tennis yet, but hopefully I can save that when it's really necessary.
Again, you know, today Tammy was very tricky. I haven't played her for a few years. I was actually surprised to see she was still playing. But she's very, yeah, like I said, tricky. Very hard to read her game, as well. Tricky serve. There's not much on it. But she doesn't give you anything where you can just step in and hit a lot of winners or really, yeah, go for a lot.
So I just had to kind of be patient, wait for the right shot to go for it.

Q. Is that where you like to be, playing at a level to beat your opponents, but knowing you have some extra gears in there?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, yeah, I think. I think that's something that I've always done pretty well in the past. Even last week in Brisbane was a good example. You know, I won my matches not always conveniently, but good enough. Played a three-set match there. I was not always playing my best, was a little bit inconsistent.
But when I had to play well against Justine, I was able to really like raise my level. That's something that obviously after having been off for a long time, it takes time to get that, to have that routine of knowing how to react in those kind of situations.
I was happy I was able to do that against Justine, and at the Open last year, as well. So hopefully I can keep rising like that.

Q. Are you looking forward to the clash in Fed Cup, which is next weekend, in Poland?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Are you Polish?

Q. Yes.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yes, I am (laughter).

Q. That's why I was crying when you gave the prize money. That's how Polish people are.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Did you want me to give it to you?

Q. No. There's sensitive people in the world.

Q. So how about Radwanska, the Polish girls?
KIM CLIJSTERS: The Polish girls, obviously I played -- I think at Wimbledon I played one of them. I think the last year I played Wimbledon I think I played her. They've obviously improved a lot since. They've gotten more experience.
They're tricky players. They are great movers and hit very clean balls. They maybe don't have the amount of power that some of the other top girls have, but they don't make a lot of errors.
Like I said, Fed Cup will be very interesting. I think it's good for us that I'm doing well, Yanina is playing really good, and Kirsten is a very talented doubles player as well. Hopefully it doesn't have to get to the doubles. Hopefully we can sweep you guys in the singles.
But, you know, if it has to get down to the doubles, we have some experience there, as well.
Yeah, it will be a tough one, but it's always fun.

Q. You next play Petrova. What are your thoughts on that game?
KIM CLIJSTERS: That will be a very tough match. I think Nadia is the type of player -- I actually saw her match against Justine last week in Brisbane; it was a very high-level match. She obviously has a great serve. She's tall. She really has a very clean serve. Places the ball well, hits it very clean.
The only thing I think what I have to try to be really consistent obviously, but really try to go for the lines and make her move because, you know, she's a tall girl. Usually tall girls, they're not the greatest movers around. Obviously that's something that I'm definitely going to try to take advantage of.
But, yeah, I have had some tough matches against her in the past already. She hits the ball very flat. So it will be tough. But it's good. You know, it's nice to have some matches like this, as well.

Q. This is your second Grand Slam tournament after your comeback. How do you feel different here than you did at the US Open now that you're like one of the favorites?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, to me it doesn't really change much. I think the only thing that changed a little bit is, yeah, the new factor a little bit. Obviously when I got to the US Open, to me, the last time I played there, I won. Obviously, that was a whole different situation than here.
But, again, you know, each Grand Slam that I'll play this year, except from the US Open, will be something where I'd love to go to again because it's been a number of years since I've been there. I think that's the excitement; it's still there. I had that coming from Brisbane to Melbourne. I looked forward to practicing here a little bit.
So, uhm, my attitude doesn't change because now I'm seen as one of the favorites. To me, you know, that doesn't mean anything. Only I think it's important for the outside world, you know.

Q. Situation recently with a player who was approached to fix a match, was fined, suspended for not supporting it. Are the rules clear to you what you're supposed to report if something like that happens?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. I mean, you know, to me they are. Obviously I think, you know, what we all want to achieve is to try to have a clean sport. Whether it is from doping or gambling, I think we all want to, you know, help each other and talk to each other when there's something like that.
I think, you know, I feel very lucky that I've never been put into that situation. But I do think, of course, I support being -- yeah, having the clean sport in no matter what category we're talking about.
But to me it's obviously very clear and it's something that I think I take very seriously. If people approach me, yeah, it will be the first thing I do: try to talk to someone from the tour or even some of my own people in my group, and it's maybe up to them to go mention it to the tour.
That's these days, what is the pity about the sport, a lot of money being able to be made outside of what's happening on the court. Sometimes that has a little bit of a negative influence. But luckily enough, I think it doesn't happen that often. I think that's why the tour is really doing well. As soon as something happens, jump right on it, try to not let things like this happen anymore.

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