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


June 25, 2010

Kim Clijsters


K. CLIJSTERS/M. Kirilenko
6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Kim Clijsters.

Q. You must be fairly pleased with that because you made a tricky match look fairly comfortable?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I think I was a little bit surprised because I thought she would hit the ball harder. I felt she was hitting the ball hard on faster shots of mine if I was getting out wider to her backhand. I felt she was really playing very aggressively from when she had to, when it was kind of all or nothing.
I kind of felt just during the rallies that I was always in control of the rallies. Obviously, that was a good feeling to have. You know, I also know that her forehand is a little bit of her weaker side. She's very comfortable playing that backhand side.
So I was really trying to, you know, just go for that, play a little bit more to the forehand today, and just mix it up, opening it up wide to the backhand, and playing into the forehand.
Felt comfortable. Served well today. So it was good.

Q. Quick break back in the second set.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, yeah. She returned well in that game. But, uhm, I definitely wasn't quite as sharp, you know, for that next shot, that serve. That next shot I think is so important on grass. She hit a few really good returns.
Like I said, I wasn't quite as sharp to react. So she broke back. But I was happy she was serving on the tougher side, into the sun. I was just really trying to stay focused and be aggressive on the return and just try to win that next game.
I got a little lucky with that bad bounce on breakpoint.

Q. How do you feel now about the prospect of facing Justine?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, no, I mean, we've had some really tough matches so far this year and some really good and fun matches. That's something I hope -- in the two matches we played each other this year, we've brought out the best in each other. I think they've been a little bit up and down level-wise. I think I started off really well in both those matches. She came back well in the second set.
So I think, yeah, like I said, it was a very up-and-down match, but a high level at a lot of time. Hopefully if she wins we can bring that here on Monday I guess, yeah.

Q. If you were to describe your style of play and Justine's for somebody who had never seen either of you play, how would you describe them?
KIM CLIJSTERS: It's like school exams here (smiling).
No, obviously I think, you know, she has always been, growing up together, she's always been the more touchy player. She has good hands. Obviously, the slice is something she was naturally born with. You know, that's something that for me takes a lot -- took a lot of hard more work.
You know, I think I'm naturally -- obviously, I'm bigger, stronger in a sense, but I think she's improved a lot in that aspect as well. I think she's definitely improved a lot on her serve.
You know, there's not that many differences, but there's a lot of differences, I guess. You know, she moves well. Without sounding too cocky or confident, I think also I'm not a bad mover out on court. Like I said, she has those quick hands that can make it -- you know, she brings back a lot of balls and a lot of tough balls even when you feel like you're dominating. I think that's one of her strengths.

Q. What are your thoughts that the matchups in your career has been even?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Like I said, that's always how I feel when I go out there. It could go either way. I think that just shows in the results we've had against each other, all the matches.
You go out there and it's 50/50. Automatically when you play players, like today as well, you have that mindset, I know like a match today if I play well, I should win. But, you know, against someone like Justine or Serena, you never know. You know you have to bring your best if you want to have a chance to win.
So that's what I'm going to have to do. You have to try to play your best tennis to beat the best.

Q. Can it actually be fun at a major or is it just too intense?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. I mean, so far, you know, some of the funnest matches that I've played probably before the ones against Justine, one of them was the finals in Sydney against Jankovic, one of those where it was so intense, the crowd was really into it.
Then the ones against Justine this year, Brisbane and Miami, they were also very intense. I think it's when everything is involved and it's the emotions and the physical part and everything, that's when it becomes fun. I mean, that's what you train for, is those extreme circumstances. Obviously, not as extreme as the two men yesterday.
But, you know, that's what you train for, is to achieve those, you know, and try to win in those circumstances.

Q. Justine said she needs a year to feel she's fully back. You've had a lot of great results, but a couple not so great results. Do you attribute some of that inconsistent stuff to time or something else?
KIM CLIJSTERS: First of all, I put myself in my mind that hopefully it's not going to take a year, because it's not that I have that much longer left. Because we want to have more children and everything.
So I was kind of happy that my results, the way that I started playing, everything started happening pretty soon.
But it's like you said. Like my results have been a little bit up and down. Obviously this year I haven't done great at the Grand Slams. I didn't play the Australian Open. I did well in Miami. Then didn't play the French.
So, you know, obviously it's the big tournaments where it counts. I did well last year at the US Open and Miami this year. But you want to do well all the time. That's what you train for.
Like I said, the inconsistency is something that will happen. I'm just pleased that, you know, the inconsistency that I used to have in matches, and even this year a little bit, those matches against Justine where I was playing really well, being a little bit up and down in that match, that's something I'm really trying to focus on. Hopefully that will help me.

Q. After the US Open, did the type of work change? Did it become less fun leading up to the US Open, not sure what you can do? Now you know what you can do, it becomes more of a work thing again?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no. I mean, I think in my case, if I look at tennis and practice as work, then that's not good for me. That's when I can't be the best player out there. I mean, you know, what I'm doing right now, this is what I call work (smiling).
No, it's true. Like the photo shoots, all that stuff that has nothing to do with tennis, you know -- you know, I've loved tennis since I was four years old. I feel very lucky that I've been able to do, you know, what I love to do for so long.
But everything else that comes with it, it's something that, you know, I don't say to Bryan or Jada, Mommy is going off to work. I say, Mommy is going to try to train to get better. That's what I say.

Q. You played Justine 24 times. Is it still something special, emotional to play her?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, obviously, you know, like you said, 24 times, it's obviously not the same as in the beginning. But, yeah, it's still a little bit different I think than playing -- but then I don't know. I mean, when I have to play Serena, you're also a little bit more tense. You know, it's just playing those big players, you know, those top players, that's what makes it more special.
I think if I had to play Venus or Serena or Maria, that would also be very special. So, yeah, you just put a little bit more focus into all your preparation and everything.

Q. Is your relationship different than before your comebacks of you both or is it the same?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I think so. I think it is. It's not that in a way that it's completely black-and-white difference. But I think we've definitely grown up. I think we've, you know, had great times together playing Fed Cup and just, you know, messaging each other on phones, teasing each other, fun, you know, relax. I think that's how I would have liked it to have always been.

Q. One of the great things about our sport is that we basically play on three different surfaces. Could you take a moment and talk about of the three surfaces which requires the most athleticism? How can you compare the three in terms of what it requires athletically?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Whew, that's going into a very technical part I think of the game here.
Obviously I think the way I look at the different surfaces is obviously different compared to, you know, maybe Venus or Serena or Maria looks at it.
But, you know, in my case, I've loved playing on hard court because I feel my movement comes out the best. I've always struggled a little bit on clay court just because I felt that, uhm, the ball comes towards you a little bit slower, bounces up a little bit higher, a few more bad bounces here and there.
Pushing off is something that I've always found, you know, very comfortable in moving, left, right, on hard court. I mean, I don't have to think about the way I have to move. And on grass and on clay, that's sometimes a little bit different. I just kind of have to feel that I really have to teach myself and learn and just practice all the time and do, you know, specific exercises to try to get that movement under control.
So, obviously, looking at the physical part, I think obviously physically grass is the least hardest, I think, just because obviously the first few days, lower back and knees might get a little bit sore, but once you get over that physically, it's not as hard.
I think clay is the toughest surface because the rallies take longer and it's a little bit more intense on the body.
But, uhm, so my preference goes out to hard court, obviously. But the style and the game that you have to play, the tactical game on grass is something I've enjoyed a lot more, you know, since I'm back than I did a few years ago.

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