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August 28, 2010

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you feel any additional burden because you won it last year?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I don't. Because after so many years, you know, the amount of work and time that you have to put into trying to bring your best every day and to beat all the players if you want to win it.
So to me personally, my attitude is not any different compared to last year. Obviously last year had a few more probably unanswered questions, but I think this year, you know, I know what I have to do if I want to try and do as well as I did last year.
But I don't feel any more pressure or -- pressure is a good thing. Pressure is a sign why they're putting you into the spot of maybe one of the favorites. So I'm excited to be back and to defend my title.

Q. How would you describe Wozniacki's game for somebody who hasn't seen her? Because as the No. 1 seed, she's not the most familiar name to the American audience, for example, even though she was up against you last year. What impresses you most about her?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Probably her consistency is something that is definitely one of her strengths. I think she moves well. She anticipates well. She can read a game, an opponent's game really well. I think that's something that, you know, for such a young girl and for someone who hasn't had so many experiences yet, she does that really well.
I think it's something that I've seen her improve over the last few months is that I actually think that she, you know, she wanted to win Grand Slams and be consistent and make it easier just for herself. She's still young physically. She can still handle the long matches and playing a lot of tournaments.
I always thought that she -- you know, if she could just be a little bit more aggressive once in a while and just kind of maybe go for a little bit more winners, that will definitely take a lot of pressure kind of, not just on her whole, you know, physique, but just in the long run on her career.

Q. What do you think it says about the tournament this year that she's the No. 1 seed?
KIM CLIJSTERS: She's a great player. I mean, you don't get there by luck or, you know, by, yeah, by wildcard or anything. She definitely deserves to be up there. Obviously there's a lot of other players, you know, who have as big of a chance to win this year than, you know, than anybody.
So I think it's a very interesting US Open I think this year.

Q. What was it like throwing out the first pitch yesterday?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Fun. I'm glad I did okay. (Laughter.)

Q. You have an American husband. You spend a lot of time in America. You threw out the first pitch. How well do you actually understand the rules of baseball?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I understand the rules. Obviously even when I'm in Belgium, my husband likes to follow everything. When we're watching TV, a lot of times, you know, I'm watching either NFL or watching baseball, or I'm watching NBA obviously a little bit more.
So, yeah, I'm interested in a lot of sports. There's a few sports that I really don't get into too much. But baseball, it's -- you know, I'm not saying I'll sit there for hours and watch the whole game, but obviously once in a while I'll watch the highlights on the website or whatever. I watch some highlights.
It's nice, like yesterday, to just kind of, you know, meet the players and, you know, because -- and see that, you know, because my husband, they were all fans when they were little. It's nice to kind of see that side of my husband, you know, that I was never a part of. So that was nice.

Q. It seems as though everybody on the planet has seen the video of Roger Federer knocking a cup off a guy's head with two serves, except your fellow tennis players, Andy Roddick, Roger Federer [sic], Venus Williams. None of them have seen this video. Have you seen it?

Q. Is it real?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Let me just say that I would not hold that thing on my head even if it was Roger Federer. (Laughter.)
There's your answer.

Q. What were your impressions of the video and what he did, if he did it? What were your impressions of what he did if he actually did it?
KIM CLIJSTERS: What I just said. That's exactly what my first impression was. Look, I don't want to be the guy holding the can. The guy looked very calm and he was like, Yeah, I know what's going to happen. Yeah, I wouldn't do it. (Smiling.)
Q. Do you think you could accomplish what Roger did, the same type of serving display, knocking the can?

Q. What were your first feelings being back in New York after last year?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Fun. You know, excitement and obviously, you know, the emotions and you kind of -- maybe not a lot of -- you kind of relive the little details a little bit more, kind of the things that you probably forget faster, obviously, than, you know, the title and the celebration.
But it's the little things the second time when you come back you pick up a little bit more. Yeah, they make it nice, you know. You kind of go into detail a little bit better.

Q. Is it fresh from your memory or does it feel like a long time ago?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, they're fresh. Like I said, the little details you kind of forget about, but once you come back, you're like, Oh, yeah, that's right. Yeah, we did this. Those kind of details is what probably, yeah, have been coming out of my mouth more. Oh, I remember when I did the ceremony or those things. They're always there.
But it's the little details that kind of freshen everything up a little.

Q. You talked about Wozniacki playing more aggressively and that helping her career in the long run with the stress and the repetitive nature, and there's certainly a lot being talked about right now with the schedule and the length of it, particularly on the women's side. What are your thoughts about that?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Look, I'm probably, you know, with a few other players, have been a part of the previous kind of -- the time before we had the Roadmap. And obviously now, being back, I have to say the system that we have now is a lot more player friendly.
I think it just helps us to, you know, whichever tournament we commit to, to be there 100% and to be competing 100%. I think that's something we're almost obliged to, you know, to the fans, to the tournament. You know, at least give yourself 100%. You don't have to play every week, but give yourself 100% when you can to be out there and give your best.
I mean, women's tennis has become so much more intense and powerful and strong, and I think, you know, obviously we also have to work harder outside of, you know, what we do on the tennis court. I mean, in the gym, you know, I mean, I can assure you, you know, 30 years ago you wouldn't have seen too many, you know, players in the gym.
I mean, yeah, we did running, but now it's the little details. Every little detail makes a difference, and I think we all have to become fitter, faster, stronger. So, yeah, I mean, we, you know, we do as much work as we can to be the best female athlete as possible.

Q. So you did not feel then that the schedule demands are too much right now on the tour?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, not at all. I mean, it's definitely -- it's even easier compared to a few years ago.
I think that's a little bit of a misconception that's out there, you know. We can choose our schedule. We choose, you know, how many tournaments we want to play in, and I think it's a player's discipline and professionalism to know, you know, when to play, how many tournaments am I able to play, or is my body capable of playing and am I emotionally ready or, you know, mentally ready to play.
I think that's something that's really important, is listening to yourself and not worry a lot of times about, you know, points or about money. You know, because in the long run, if you're fresh, you know, all those things will, you know, become -- will get there, and you'll play better and your points will come. Obviously if you get further into the tournament you make more money.
So the rest is definitely important. That's something that the WTA has definitely provided us more with compared to a few years ago.

Q. Can you talk about your draw a little bit?
KIM CLIJSTERS: First round Greta Arn, so that's all I would like to talk about. Because, you know, that's my mindset every time I go into a Grand Slam, is first round and not look further ahead.

Q. You mentioned you follow some of the other sports. Some at a distance. What are your thoughts about Tiger Woods and his efforts to restore his game right now?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Um, I've watched a lot of golf, and I've also been an Ernie Els fan for a long time. I mean, he's still -- Tiger Woods is still capable of bringing the best golf out there, but obviously with his personal situation I think it's something that has an impact.
Without a doubt, I think he will be back soon and will be playing his best level again.

Q. Are you rooting for him?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Um, I mean, I root for Ernie Els. I've always done that, so...

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