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June 23, 2010

Kim Clijsters


6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Kim.

Q. Are you pleased with your performance today?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yes, I am. Like I mentioned in my previous press conference, this was definitely a match where I wanted to be like ready to go from the start 'cause, you know, first of all she doesn't give you a lot of rhythm but you have to, when you get your chances, take your chances. She hits the ball so hard.
So in the beginning, I just had to adjust my footwork a little bit and just find that position, whether you be close on top of the baseline or a little bit further back.
But I was very happy with the way that I, you know, went through it. Good that I broke once I think in that first set. And then in the second set, I felt that I was playing better, a little bit more aggressive, and she was missing a little bit more.

Q. Have you completed your adjustment to grass?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I feel that I'm definitely playing probably my best tennis that I've played on grass, you know, compared to even a few years ago. I think, uhm, that's a good feeling to have that. I'm moving well.
You know, my serve and my returns are going well. I think that's the key I think on grass, is those first few shots have to be, you know, on target.
You know, it's a different attitude than when you're playing on a hard court or in Australia or whenever. I think there's a different, you know, attitude out there, as well. But I feel comfortable and I feel that I'm, you know, when I'm playing my best, I feel really comfortable in that position, and I think it's a comforting feeling to have.

Q. What's given you that better attitude on grass than you had earlier?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. I think probably the biggest difference that I can think of is in the past, uhm, obviously I was probably playing the French Open, you know, about two weeks before or a week before I was starting on grass. And I think the adjustment was something that took me a little bit longer. By the time that I felt that I was, you know, feeling comfortable on clay, you know, we were moving on to different surface, grass. I think maybe it took me a little bit longer.
I think now, not being in Paris, was frustrating, but I think maybe it's helped me to adjust a little bit faster on grass.

Q. Is playing on grass the most fun just because it's soft?
KIM CLIJSTERS: It is. It is. But then I also like those intense rallies where you push off, you know. It's more physical, but I like that. But yet again, yeah, it's a completely different game. There's so much more thinking involved. I like that part about it, as well. I think, you know, you have to really adjust yourself.
I can't move the same on this surface than I can on hard court. I think it takes time to get used to that. But that's the part that I probably like the most, is finding your best on a different surface.

Q. What are the changes you have to make for moving on the grass?
KIM CLIJSTERS: You can't just push off. I mean, you can't just, you know, split and run forward. You have to be a little more careful. You can slide a little bit more faster. Especially when it's hot, the grass, it's not as green anymore, it starts to die off a little bit. Those parts are definitely a lot more slippy than other parts. That's where you have to be a little bit more careful.
Obviously being lower is something that your body has to adjust to. But, uhm, it's good. I think it's a fun surface. Too bad it doesn't, you know, last the season. The grass court season is not that long.

Q. When Justine was in here a little while ago, she spoke about the phenomenon of the veteran players doing well at the top of the tour, and very few players who are very young are achieving what your group did earlier. Do you have any feelings about this or explanations for it?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I do actually. I think the biggest change I think to me is that, you know, I don't think we'll see a lot of youngers anymore coming up and doing well, I think it's because of the physical part. I think it's become so much more physical these days.
I remember obviously Venus and Serena were the ones who started that generation. Myself and Justine, we all had to go back to the gym and become faster, stronger, mentally change a little bit as well. I think that's probably the biggest difference, unless you're a 14- or 15-year-old and you know you're strong and you have that power. And the fitness to compete, you know, not just for a few games, but to compete a whole match and a whole tournament is tough I think these days for that age.
I think we'll see definitely a switch and a change I think in age of youngsters breaking through. We'll have an age of 19-, 20-, 21-year-olds who start doing better and be more consistent in their results.

Q. How do you feel about all that?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Uhm, I feel lucky that I'm part of both, that I'm part of the older generation now, and that I was one of those youngsters who did well. I remember obviously 2010 (sic) doing well here with Jelena Dokic, with Stevenson. We qualified. It was the first time. You know, it seems very long ago.
It's fun to be a part of it. You know, it's fun to be a part, to be in between those generations at the moment. It's something that I enjoy.

Q. From the British point of view, having been around a while, do you have any inkling yourself why British women haven't done well this year and tend not to do well this year?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I was kind of expecting one of those questions to pop up (smiling).
That's something that probably has been asked to me every time we get to England, especially a few years ago when Justine and I were doing well. You know, I don't think there's a secret. The only thing I probably notice is that, you know, we didn't grow up with the facilities that you guys have. And I think maybe kids are a little bit too spoiled too soon with what you have.
We get spoiled in a way that we have great coaches and we have a good system, but we don't nearly have the equipment and the facilities that you guys have here.
I don't know if it's necessary at such a young age to spoil kids or to treat them like they're it, you know.

Q. A little bit too easy?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Uhm, well, because the other part, you know, if you don't have it, it makes you work harder to achieve it. And I think that's where I think sometimes, you know, I think you have to be a little bit careful. You obviously have -- the four Grand Slam countries have a lot of money. You know, I think I saw at Queen's an interview on TV, and they were talking about how they need to spend more money on courts and on better facilities. I was like, You know, you have the best facilities you can have here in England.
I mean, most of the girls who make it never had that when they were younger, when they were growing up. So I think that's to me the biggest thing that I can think of, is don't give it to them that early.

Q. What is it they did in Belgium?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't think there's one point where you can say, Okay, this is what we're doing right. You need the whole system. It's not just Federations. It's the whole group around, the player, the parents, the whole infrastructure that's important.
Yeah, like I said, there's not one tip or advice or difference that Belgium has compared to England. You know, you probably took most of our coaches already (laughter). So that didn't work.
But, no, I mean, yeah.

Q. Have you thought yet about the prospect of playing Justine?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Uhm, no, not yet. Obviously I'm not there yet. So until I'm in that position, I will think about and focus on that. I think obviously I have mixed doubles tomorrow. That will be the first challenge ahead and then singles against Kirilenko or Perry. That will be my first mental focus. And then if I get through that, then I'll think about Justine.

End of FastScripts

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