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April 1, 2010

Kim Clijsters


6-2, 6-7, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. 6-2, 3-Love, seemed like you were in total control of the match. What happened? Seemed like you got a little tight. Is that just against Justine that that happens?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I think that at that point I felt that she was definitely slowing down the game a little bit. You know, I felt that a couple of times she was really giving me a lot of, yeah, even easier shots than I had so far.
I felt that I wasn't really quite moving forward as well as I should have. I felt a had a few chances with my forehand where I really could have gone for a winner, and I just missed a couple.
Yeah, and then also with my serve, I really I think because of my serve as well I let her get back into the match. She was standing -- yeah, it kind of get shifted a little bit.
What I did so well was really be dominant in the first set and a half. I think because I started serving less efficient, I think my first serve percentage went down, and that just gives her that a little bit of extra push to be a little bit more dominate during the rallies.
And I felt that. That's why I think I just started -- instead of being right on top of my baseline and dominating the rallies from there, I felt like I was being pushed back a little bit.
I think when you're -- it's a big difference for your opponent if you stand a meter behind your baseline. For me, it takes twice the effort to try to create the same kind of pressure for her.
But that gives her a lot more time to be dominant as well.

Q. You must be very happy with the way you played at the end.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I was. Obviously I try not to let it affect me, even when I was down in the third set. I could have -- I just really tried to stay focused and tried to just do what I did really well in the first set.
That was just really move in, and whenever she was slicing just step in and don't wait for it. Just really be aggressive. I think that's the game that I have to play against whoever I'm playing.
Whether it's Justine, Venus, Serena, that's my game. I've been doing that really well so far. But then again, there's nobody who defends as well as Justine does, so you know...

Q. Tell me about the tiebreak and the one volley. Two backhands in a row, chunked the volley. You needed that, right?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, that was a lucky shot. I mean, there's no other words for that. You know, probably if we have to play that rally ten times over again that's probably the only time I'll make it.
Yeah, you know, it was a split decision at the time, but luckily I chose the right side.

Q. What does a match like this take from you emotionally? How do you rebound and come back so soon now to play Venus?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I think that's something now that I'm older you learn from the past. You know, it's a win. It's fun. But now I'm focusing on Saturday.
This is -- whatever I'm doing now, I'm going to the hotel, get treatment, do everything, and just really prepare for the finals. The tournament is not over.
So, yeah, so there's in celebrating whatsoever.

Q. Energy-wise is doesn't deplete you a little bit?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I think it's also adrenaline what you go on a little bit. I think probably, I mean, that's something that I used to have in the past.
When the tournament finishes you kind of have a couple days where you hit the wall a little bit.
During the tournament I never really had that, so hopefully it won't be the case this time. I feel pretty good physically.

Q. Can you talk about facing Venus, what that will be like? How do you like playing her?
KIM CLIJSTERS: We've had some good battles in the past. I think obviously the last official match we played each other was at the US Open, so that was very up and down match as well.
I think we both never really played our best tennis at the same time. You know, Venus is a player that if she's playing her best she's really tough to beat. Then again, I think you always have to believe in your chances.
You know, yeah, I feel that I'm comfortable enough and fit enough to last with them in the rallies. I think also a lot is going to come down to the serves. I know that I'm gonna have to serve really well against her and get a high first serve percentage in.
Yeah, just try to get an edge in the rallies with my serve from the beginning.

Q. How did this match tonight compare to the last one you played her in Australia?
KIM CLIJSTERS: It was almost the same. I think it was really weird. You know, obviously at the time when your playing you don't think about that. To be honest, there were a lot of things unless my coach or Sam, my fitness coach, didn't tell me after the match I wouldn't have thought about it anymore.
Yeah, I mean, even about the tiebreak and everything, it was very similar scoring. So I think it's -- yeah, it's crazy to have two matches like this this early in the season.
I don't know what to say. I mean, I'm just excited that I came out as the winner. It could have gone either way at the end in both matches.

Q. I was just wondering, I don't cover this week-to-week, what was your reaction when you heard that Justine was coming back to tennis?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I think I when they announced it, kind of being in the tennis world you kind of know a little bit sooner than the press conference.
But I think it was something that you kind of feel coming over the last few weeks. Was it a surprise to me? I don't know. Maybe a little bit. Maybe yes, maybe no.
She's always been a very passionate person. I think when she sets her mind to something, I think that's also why she's going doing so well so soon already. She's very professional athlete and focused, and she really wants to go for it.
I think that's something that I've always admired about her. Even today, you know, how far she's down, she'll keep fighting until the end. You'll never see her being negative or being down.
I think that's something that is a very strong part of her game.

Q. I think 5 and 6 against Venus. You won the last three times, including the Open. Except for the Madison square Garden thing. Do you throw that one out? Do you consider that as like...
KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, it wasn't like a real exhibition match because it was a lot more serious. So I think we both played or we tried to play as good as we could.
I think she really had a very high -- I think she just came off the win in Mexico --

Q. Dubai and Acapulco.
KIM CLIJSTERS: So she was playing really well. I think in that match as well she was serving really good. I think in the previous matches her serve was not always there.
I think she obviously is a big and tall girl. But she'll hit a lot of aces. I think she -- in a lot of the matches she could have gotten out of her serve a lot more.
In New York a few months or couple weeks ago, I think she did that really well. So her serve was a lot more aggressive.
Yeah, like I said before, the serve is gonna be very important on Saturday.

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