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June 29, 2010

Kim Clijsters


V. ZVONAREVA/K. Clijsters
3-6, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Are you as stunned as we are?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Disappointed. You know, it's too bad I wasn't able to come up with, you know, my best at the important time in the match.
She did. She was very consistent, didn't give me any easy mistakes. I gave her a few too many. So, yeah.

Q. She obviously played well down the stretch. Did you feel like you were running out of gas? Didn't recover well from yesterday?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no. Physically, I mean, I feel fine. Foot, everything feels fine. Like I said, I just didn't, yeah, produce on the important points in the match.
You know, a couple times, uhm, had some chances just to get back into it, to break back. I think I was Love-30 up.
You know, she served very well at the important points. But I never really, uhm, yeah, made her work for it all that much.
I think, obviously, that's probably the most disappointing thing for me.

Q. You talked about the adjustments you made against Henin. Were they not there today?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I think she was good at keeping me under pressure. She hits the ball very hard, flat and deep. It was up to me to try to go for the lines, open up the court a little bit more, especially to her forehand. I was trying to pull her out of the court a little bit.
But, yeah, she was really on top of my game I felt today. I mean, her backhand is her stronger shot. I mean, it's very hard to read the shot. Especially when she goes down the line, it's like a last-second. You can't even read it.
I was kind of always on my toes, yeah, obviously trying to go to the forehand a little bit more. But it's not easy when the balls are coming from the cross-court down the line. With the backhand I was trying to go down the line before she would.
But, yeah, I mean, I was trying to, like I said, go for the lines. But it's not easy when they're coming that hard and deep.

Q. You've had some great success since your comeback. You've been also somewhat unpredictable. Do you think it has something to do with you took a break, your life is enriched, it's not as important to focus?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I think I'm more focused than I used to be. You know, it takes time. This is my first time back at Wimbledon. I haven't been back for a year yet. Obviously it takes time.
You know, obviously not being able to play the second Grand Slam of the year, you know, the Grand Slams is what you want to aim for. I would have liked to have done better here.
It was disappointing to come from, you know, five, six weeks off without hitting one ball. That was probably also not a great preparation. But I'm not blaming that at all. You know, I've played really well since I've come back. I played two good matches in Eastbourne. I played some good tennis here.
So, you know, I don't think that's anything to blame. That's my choice, too. On one hand, I'm the one who's deciding whether I want to play 24 tournaments a year or 16. That's totally my choice if I'm not injured.

Q. In a bigger picture, Wozniacki, the last teenager, went out yesterday. A lot of names who really aren't that familiar are going really deep into this tournament. Could you talk about that.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Uhm, I mean, obviously I haven't seen all of them play, but obviously they can hit the ball well. You don't get to a quarter or a semifinal by luck. So they can obviously hit the ball hard.
That's something that -- you know, obviously that question has been asked to me since I've come back, to see how the game has changed. I've said it many times before: I really feel there's a lot of girls out there who can make it the top players really hard, maybe just not on a consistent basis.
I think that's what we're seeing here as well. It's good to see new names doing well, to see them doing well at the Grand Slams. These are all girls who have beaten a lot of good players in the past, but probably not in the spotlight when all the media is around to see it.

Q. Do we expect too much of you after the US Open?
KIM CLIJSTERS: That doesn't bother me at all. I mean, I think, you know, pressure, you know, being looked at as a favorite or something, I mean, it's a compliment. It's a sign of you doing well, so I see it as a compliment.

Q. Is any of this a function of match readiness? Would you think about playing more tournaments as the season goes on?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Uhm, I mean, it's hard to think about that right now, to answer that question now, because I haven't thought about that. But obviously, you know, if I wouldn't have been injured, I would have played two, three tournaments more leading into Wimbledon, maybe four.
So, you know, I mean, I was here with the preparation that I had, and I tried to make the best of it. You know, I showed some really good stuff yesterday, even in the first set today.
Like I said, I just wasn't quite there at the important points; at the US Open I was. So, you know, it's not that I had that many matches going into the Open, so I don't know if looking for the reason why I lost is the right one.

Q. What are the biggest things you think you need to work on between now and the Open?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Obviously what I always want to work on is my serve, and, you know, making sure that I get a higher first-serve percentage.
But when you play girls who hit the ball hard, and especially women's tennis these days, everybody hits the ball hard and flat and deep.
I think I have the habit of probably not finishing my service motion to a full end because as soon as I land with my first foot, I'm already pushing back to be ready for that next shot.
So you have to make a choice. You want to be ready, you know, maybe a little bit later for the next shot because you want to have a higher percentage of serve. I'm really trying to work on that.
Obviously, you know, in practice it's going well. In matches, it's your habits that come back at the most important moments in the match.

Q. When you return home, do you go to sort of a domestic mindset and work around the house? Could you talk about what your life is like when you're not in the midst of a huge tournament back at home.
KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, I have to say, the situation that we were in here at Wimbledon was very similar to the way we are at home. Obviously we have our family around. So we probably spend a little bit more time, you know, going to visit family and everything. Obviously taking care of the dogs and all that stuff. That's something that I love, as well.
So, yeah, that's probably what we'll do. Then we have the event, the Best of Belgium event. Then we'll go to the States and spend some time with the American family side.

Q. How competitive will the Best of Belgium match be? It's an exhibition. Exhibitions very often are played for fun, so everybody has a good time. It implies there's kind of a serious confrontation.
KIM CLIJSTERS: I think we also want to show our best. I think we're obligated in a way to show the people, you know, our best tennis. I think, you know, it's not a matter of who wins or loses there; it's a celebration of not just Justine and myself, but I think the past of Belgium sports and musicians and everything.
I really look forward to it just because I think we've broken the record with all the attendance that we have. So it's going to be an amazing night.

Q. Do you go out playing as if it's a fourth round of Wimbledon?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. To be honest, I haven't really thought about that yet.

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