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April 3, 2010

Kim Clijsters


K. CLIJSTERS/V. Williams
6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations?

Q. Was there a point in that match, maybe at 3-Love in the second, where you said to yourself, I can't believe this?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Um, well, no, because you just want to try to stay focused all the time.
You know, like last night. You don't want things to happen -- or like against Justine's match where I let her get back into the match. That's something I was really trying to focus on, just trying not no let her -- not give her any easy mistakes just really try to focus on that and not really worry even about the score or anything.
But in the beginning I'll have to say I was a little worried with the serves that she was hitting at me. The pace was very high. So if she would have been serving like that throughout the whole match, it would have been tough to break her.

Q. You said the other day that you guys never play good on the same day. I guess you're glad you did today, but at one point did you feel like...
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't think I said never played good on the same day. I said never played good at the same time. When we played each other at the US Open I think I played well in the first set and she played well in the second set, like that. So it was never really our highest level at the same time. That's what I meant then. So, yeah.

Q. Do you feel like at one point just keep the ball in play and let her make the mistake?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, you just want to try to -- even though she's a great mover, you have to make her move. You just want to try stay aggressive as well.
When you see you have a chance on the second serve, really try and go for it and be dominant from that second serve onwards. Just try to base yourself inside the court and try to dictate the points from there.
It wasn't easy on one side of the court with the serve. You just wanted to try to get into the rally there. Of course she hit a lot of easy mistakes today, so it was just really trying for me to not lose my rhythm.
And just whenever I had opportunities to step it up, just really try and do that.

Q. You've been talking about playing aggressively and moving forward and taking the ball early and stuff. How hard is it to do that when you're not getting the responses from your opponent?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, that's why you constantly have to tell yourself and remind yourself to really keep doing that, especially when you see that you have a second serve.
Just, you know, it's easier when things are really exciting and you're both playing really good. Like you almost have to be dominant and you have to bring your best level.
But when you feel like your opponent is not giving their best tennis or bringing their best tennis, you just really want to try and not focus on them too much and just really focus on yourself. Try to keep focusing on what you're doing well.
Today I was playing -- you know, I think from the return onwards, I was just really making sure that I was going for the lines and just kept her under pressure from there onwards.

Q. When Venus was talking about her game today, she said even the best players have days like this sometimes, and she compared it to your day in Australia. Did you ever figure out what happened that day?
KIM CLIJSTERS: It's frustrating that obviously those days have do happen, but I think any athlete has those days.
Like I said, I mean, we all try to achieve perfection. We all want to train towards playing the perfect match. It'll never happen. We will never hit a match without any unforced errors or without whatever, with 100% first serve percentage.
But we want to train for that. So that loss to me was very disappointing at the Australian Open. I think that's also helped me to try and refocus. Even when I lost in Indian Wells to Kleybanova, I felt that I was improving. I still wasn't where I wanted to be.
But I felt that once I got here to Miami I was really hitting the ball a lot better. I hit with a lot of different girls throughout the week. Had a lot practice matches even. I think that just got me, yeah, just a lot more ready for my first round here.

Q. I'm guessing your goal is to become No. 1 again. Looking at your game, how far do you think you are?
KIM CLIJSTERS: To be honest with you, I think if I do well at the tournaments that I play I think the No. 1 is maybe possible. It's not that it's my main goal.
Obviously with my situation, I think I'm not in a situation where I feel that I just want to go to this tournament and that tournament to get more points.
So if it would happen, that would be great. Obviously I feel that I'm hitting the ball really well. Maybe better than I ever had. But it's not that No. 1 is really a focus for me.
I think automatically I want to set -- I want to peak at the tournaments that I play in. If you do well at those tournaments I think automatically you'll get more points, and then maybe it can happen.

Q. You're gonna be playing a clay court season for the first time in many years.

Q. How are feeling about that, and what do you...
KIM CLIJSTERS: I actually look forward to it. I never thought I would say this, but I'm actually looking forward to the clay court season. It's a challenge.
You know, it's something that, you know, for myself has always been the toughest surface for me to play on, especially because I love the hardcourts where you can move -- for me it feels very easy to move on hardcourts.
So the clay has always been a little bit of a different situation for me, but I've had really good results on clay in the past. So I think it's just for me a matter of also switching my mindset and knowing that I've had good results there and I feel that I can hit a heavy ball on the clay and really put a lot of pressure on my opponents.
But, um, yeah, I also think I'm fitter than what I used to be, so I think that will make a little bit of a difference as well.

Q. We used to see the shot where you did the splits. You don't seem to be playing that shot very much anymore. Is that because you're fitter and therefore getting to the ball is a little easier and you don't have to defend as much as you used to?
KIM CLIJSTERS: That has also to do with the position on the court. The more you back off the more of an angle the opponents are gonna to be able to make. I think for me that's something I've really been trying to focus on with my coach, with Wim, is really trying to stand on top of that baseline and dictate the rallies from there.
That makes the -- okay, you have to react faster, but it makes the distance when you have to go for a wide shot a lot shorter. So I think knowing that I've done all the physical workouts and the sprints and everything, I know that I'm capable of doing that.
Of course there's always -- you're always gonna get winners hit against you. Like I said, the split is something that I'll use when I feel that I'm really far back behind the baseline and I feel like it's my last shot that I could do, I think, now.

Q. How much would it mean to you to win slam other than the US Open? Would that be important or...
KIM CLIJSTERS: It would be nice, of course. But, Hey, if I have to win another, a third US Open, that would be fine, too. I love playing there. It's always been a fun and exciting tournament.
So I'm happy with the two wins that I've had. Of course, any Grand Slam would be nice.

Q. You mentioned on the court that now that you have a child and family and all that that your time that you're playing is almost a getaway for you now. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I mean, I think when I go out to the courts now, you know, I don't have six, seven hours where I can just do whatever I feel like doing or whenever I feel like doing. Like whatever I'm doing now is all thought over by my coach, fitness coach. Like whenever I go to the courts, it's like, Okay, we're hitting from 11:00 to 1:00 and then we're doing a fitness workout.
And I like having that -- yeah, everything is probably a little bit more based on routine, I think. In the past I think if I wanted to have my massage as 8:00 at night it was fine. You know, I could kind of choose whenever I wanted to.
Now I just to have make sure that I still get enough time to focus on what I want to do when I'm playing my matches and to work on weaknesses and everything, but I also need my time at home or in the hotel or whatever we are to be with Jada.
That balance is extremely important. Obviously you don't have everything under your control. I mean, with rain delays and everything it's not always that easy.
But I feel that the balance is good. Obviously there's days where, you know, if Jada is a little bit sick or something I want to stay with her. But I also know that I have to go to practice because I need to work on things. So those are situations that sometimes can be a little frustrating.
But then again, on the other hand, she's a little bit older now. She knows when I'm leaving the door that I'm going out to play tennis. You know with everything else we try and involve her in as many things as possible.
It becomes easier I think as she gets older as well.

Q. At any point in the match did you feel like, This is Venus Williams. She always does this, but she always fights to the end and comes back. Was that in the back of your mind?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. Like I said, I was just really trying to focus on my game and on trying to just keep doing what I was doing so well until -- yeah, throughout that whole match.
I didn't want to lose the concentration like I did maybe against Justine a little bit. So I was really trying to focus on that. It worked well today.

Q. Seems like since your comeback it's either you're winning a tournament or getting to the finals or out in the first couple rounds. Is that a function of a comeback or your limited schedule?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, the limited schedule is my choice. I'm in a situation now where like want to be home. It's really important for me that I have a life at home with Brian, with Jada, and that I can just, yeah, like I said, have that life at home.
But then, you know, now that I'm older I'm not in the situation where I can just go play. You know, when you're 16 sure 17 you're like, Hey, let me play every week, because it's that adrenaline that motivates you and keeps you going.
I'm in a situation now that I can't do that anymore. I don't think there's any top players -- I think obviously Jankovic, Dementieva, they play a lot tournaments.
But I'm in a situation where, first of all, I don't want to do that. Second of all, physically I don't want to risk that anymore. That's something that caused me a lot of injuries in the past.

Q. A lot of top players talk about their kids and my kid's never gonna go near tennis and have that kind of attitude. Seems like you may think a little bit differently about that; is that true?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I love going to practice and I love being around the sporting kids. Obviously my father was a soccer player, so we kind of grew up with that sports mentality. I think that's something that obviously my husband has as well.
I think if I can, you know -- you know, if I see Jada after school going to play whatever it is, if it's swimming, basketball, tennis, whatever it is, I'll be more than happy to see her do that than to see her hanging out on the street and not doing anything.
Of course I think it's the sports mentality that is something that I was brought up with, and Brian was brought up with.
I'm not the type of mother who is gonna say, Let's go and practice your forehand today. That's not me. I mean, if she wants to do it and if she thinks it's fun, great.
But we also have the mentality where we -- if she decides to go swimming, you know, if she doesn't like it after two lessons, it's not like -- you have to stick with it. It's not like, oh, let's try this and that. Like stay committed and try to create that discipline in that way as well.
I think that's something you need in life, not just in sports.

Q. What did your daughter say before the match or after to celebrate your championship?
KIM CLIJSTERS: She doesn't speak that much yet, so it's not like she gave me a long speech. She just gave me a kiss and that was it.

End of FastScripts

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