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 28, 2010

Kim Clijsters


2-6, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Kim for you.

Q. Can you talk about turning that match around?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, no, I was just very overwhelmed in the beginning by the speed of her game. She was definitely overpowering me on every aspect of the match, I think. She was serving extremely well, returning extremely well. I wasn't helping myself by giving her a lot of second serves.
So, uhm, because she was playing so well, I started trying to focus a little bit more on trying to, whenever I had the chance, go for the lines, maybe overdoing it a little bit too much.
Obviously, I had to do that. In the second set, I was able to do what I was trying to do at the end of the first set. I was definitely going for the lines a lot better, keeping the pressure on her. Yeah, made a lot more first serves. For me, that was a very important change I think in the match.

Q. How have you managed to push this rivalry in your favor?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Nothing in particular that I'm trying. Obviously, just focus every time. Even like today, as well, you just play a set that's not good. But that doesn't mean that the match is lost.
You just have to try to, you know, read the game a little bit, see what needs to be done differently. Obviously in that first set, there were a lot of things in my game that had to be changed. I just had to be a little more sharp on everything.
I was happy I was able to break her. Then obviously, you know, on the further side of the court, it was a little bit harder to keep your serve, serving into the sun. I felt once I broke her and I held serve on that side, I felt a little more comfortable out there.

Q. Where were you in the first set?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I was out there somewhere, but I'm not quite sure (smiling).

Q. It looked like you, but didn't play like you.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Like I said, I was just very overwhelmed by the speed of her game in the beginning. She was just on top of every shot that I hit.
It's not that I hit that many in, but I hit a few in. She really went for it. I think when I had a few forehands, I tried to do too much. Obviously that's never good enough. That's never good if you're thinking about it too much and trying to overdo it.
Obviously I just really had to stay focused and rally, make her make some mistakes as well, not just giving the mistakes to her.

Q. We're accustomed to having fireworks and drama when you two have met. What was different, if anything, today for you mentally as you got into the third set?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, obviously you evolve in that match. Obviously, in the beginning, you know, yeah, like I said, I had to look for a detail to change it around. You try to obviously hang in there every time.
She made a couple of, you know, unforced errors, and that's what made me win a few easier service games. Automatically mentally you grow into the match.
I think it's not just one thing that makes you make that switch. It's gradually you make -- you know, you read the game better and start to feel more comfortable out there. So, yeah. I mean, I was happy to get through there in the end. I played really good tennis in that second and third set.

Q. There's been a lot said about Justine and Wimbledon. Sentimentally people think she has the kind of game and maybe she should win here. It isn't as if your game is terrible here either on grass. Can you talk about what the tournament means to you, the grass court game, how it favors you in some ways?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I've always had a lot of respect and admired Wimbledon as a tournament. But, uhm, personally in the past, I've never had that same comfortable feeling out there as I did, you know, on hard court in America or the US Open.
I have to say since I've come back, I feel definitely a lot more comfortable moving-wise. I've mentioned that in a few press conferences already. I definitely feel that I'm more at ease moving from side to side. Especially those first two steps forward I think on grass are extremely important, especially against Justine, because she has that slice that kind of drops dead a little bit.
Also, with the return, she can really chip it. It kind of drops dead in the middle of the court. Those are tough shots to play. But I really felt that on grass now I can really, yeah, just step up. Those first few steps are really important. I'm a lot more in control of those, I think.

Q. What was the first time you played Justine when you were very young? What role do you think your size, your athleticism, plays in the matchup against Justine?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. First of all, first question, I actually have no idea when we played each other first time. Honestly, it goes way back. It's probably in one of the Belgian championships or something that we played against each other.
Then if size matters -- I mean, I'm sure it does. Obviously, it's not that we have a very big difference in the speed of our first serves. I think there we're very similar when you compare the both of us in that aspect. Obviously I look stronger. I've always had that natural stronger build. I think she's had to work on that. A lot of credit to her because she's had to physically improve to be able to manage, you know, the power girls like Venus, Serena, Maria, myself. She's done that really well.
I don't think there's a big difference power-wise anymore.

Q. Who won that first match?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I have no idea. I don't even know when it was.

Q. Were you about 10 years old?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, or maybe even younger.

Q. Do you think the hot, dry conditions might be benefitting players that are a little more comfortable on a hard court, less sure of their footing on grass this fortnight?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, maybe. You know, I'm probably the wrong person to ask about the changes in the air and the ball and the court 'cause of hot weather.
But I enjoy playing in these kind of conditions. It's a challenge to feel comfortable yourself. Knowing that you can, yeah, last three sets out there on a high level is really important. It's an important feeling to have, that you don't have to worry about physically not being able to manage.

Q. The footing on the grass.
KIM CLIJSTERS: If that is a difference with the heat?

Q. Yeah.
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. Obviously the grass is -- the whiter grass, the beige grass is obviously a little bit more slippery. You have to take smaller steps. You can't take one wide step.
Like I said, you just have to make sure that you're balanced throughout your whole body, that it's in line. That's really important, especially in this time of the tournament.

Q. Was this a triumph for motherhood?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. If that's what you want to call it.

Q. She was going for your forehand a lot, really trying to work it, find a groove. Is there a point at which somebody going to that one shot, you knowing it all the time, becomes an advantage to you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Maybe in a way. Obviously, she had every reason to go to my forehand in that first set. I think most of my own first serves were with my forehand.
Like I said, in that second set I started to really feel more comfortable. I took some risks. But I felt I was seeing the ball better, just hitting the ball cleaner. That was obviously a big change.
I think maybe also on her side of the court it maybe changes for her a little bit as well because everything she was doing to my forehand in the beginning was really working. Then a couple of times I took it over really well. Maybe that made her change. Maybe that's what made me get back into that second set a little bit.

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