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October 30, 2010

Kim Clijsters


7-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tell us about the car crash.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I mean, you know, obviously it was a little bit of a shake-up. We're all fine. Everything is okay. I was really just kind of trying to kind of switch my mental state and focus on the match. I was really white before I was about to warm-up. So we go lucky.

Q. So a truck crashed into you at a roundabout?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, literally out of nowhere. I don't know exactly how and what happened, but there was a lot of glass. Yeah, so pretty scary.

Q. No cuts or anything like that?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, not on me. Just Bob a little bit, my manager.

Q. Did that contribute at all to being 3-Love down, do you think?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no, no, not at all. I think as soon as I had my hit, I kind of felt I was able to just hit it off, you know, the kind of soft legs. As soon as I got practicing, finished practicing, I felt much better.
Yeah, again, I had a shower and just kind of everything was fine. We all felt fine. We were just lucky.

Q. And the first set clearly decided the match. That was the pivotal kind of time in the match, late in the first.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. Even though was down 3-Love, I had chances I think in each game. I could have been up 3-Love as well. That's something I kept telling myself. It's not like she was just really overpowering me. I felt that it was really close and could have gone either way in those games.
If I could just be a little bit more aggressive and just go for her backhand and just be a little bit more aggressive also with my serve and just get some free points there, I think, you know, I felt that, yeah, I could give myself a chance to get back into it.
You know, took my chances when I had a couple breakpoints, and then set point I hit the backhand down the line, which is lucky, you know, as well. Could have a little bit -- could have been out as well, and of course it would have been is completely different match.
I felt that she dropped her level in the beginning of the second set, and that gave me, you know, a little bit more confidence as well to really just focus on my service games and try not it to let her get back into that set. I felt that I started playing better, being more aggressive, and she started it hit some more frame shots.
So just really tried to focus on that. Just tried to hold my service games every time.

Q. Sorry to go back to the accident again, was it very close to the stadium? Were you almost here?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, it was on a roundabout.

Q. But there are sort of four or five, aren't there, from the Ritz Carlton?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. I don't know which one.

Q. Did you carry on in the same car you were in?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, the car was...

Q. The car was completely banged and you had to get in a new one?

Q. So a little bit of a shock. Not what you want really.

Q. So very happy to be in the final then?

Q. Looking forward to the journey back to the hotel?
KIM CLIJSTERS: (Laughing.) Maybe I'll walk.

Q. Was it a big truck or small truck? What was the size of the vehicle that hit you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: It was a big truck, yeah.

Q. You mentioned yesterday that you were feeling a little bit tired. What is the difference with the way you were feeling out there on court today physically and mentally?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I think obviously the big difference was after my match against Azarenka, I was in bed I think at 3:30 and woke up pretty early. I think I just kind of needed to kind of get some extra sleep, feel a little bit better. I took some pills just to protect my stomach.
It's been pretty good so far. Obviously it's not a 100% the way I would want it to be. But, no, I mean, I feel good. I felt that it's not influencing with the way I'm feeling on court. So as long as that's okay...
You know, I felt energetic. I felt -- obviously I'm still watching what I'm eating and try not to take too many spices and herbs and stuff. Just try and keep it very plain and simple.

Q. Give us a little bit of a critique of Sam. It's her first year in the Championships and her first year in the top 10. How do you feel her game has come along?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I think Sam is one of the players when I cam back on the tour that I felt, together with Safina, who physically have improved a lot. I think Sam has always been a player who had a strong serve, had a big forehand.
But I think her big weakness in the past was still her movement, and I think that's something that she's really, really worked on that.
And now as well, a few times when you see her going for the wide forehand, I think that's something that she -- she really steps it up there. She just looks physically a lot stronger as well. I think that's why she's always -- her best game was always good, but I think now she's been able to consistently have it there.
I think, you know, obviously she's had some chances to win some big events at the French Open. But it will happen. She's too good of a player not to win a big one. I think it's only a matter of time, and the experience as well. Because, again, playing a Grand Slam final is always very special.
I think if she gets the experience to play some big matches, big players, I think it will happen for her.

Q. And would the Australian Open suit her?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I think so. I think also here. You kind of feel the difference with a faster hardcourt or a slower hardcourt like here. It just gives her that little bit more time to really swing her racquet and get under the ball and hit with that heavy topspin.
The serve as well. It's a very tough serve. When she kicks it out wide, it's tough to return. So she definitely has a totally different game to what we're used to. I think that's why she's been able to -- you know, she's been a really good doubles player, but now to also pass that through into her singles career.

Q. Considering you haven't played at all since the US Open, how pleased are you that you've managed to reach the final here?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, very pleased. Obviously I know in this kind of format I knew that I had to be ready from the start. Obviously you kind of can give yourself a little bit of a letdown in the first match, but you really have to just be there, because otherwise you don't make it through to the final weekend. So I knew that if I could just really use that first match, you know, as not a warm-up match, but to get a really good feel for it.
I played some practice sets against my coach and against a Belgian player just to kind of get back into playing and just kind of pushing yourself also, like in a real match. That helped.
Obviously in the beginning it was a little bit hard adjusting to the weather here. But I felt that slowly every day I felt better. Tennis-wise as well. So far I think today was my best match. It's been improving.

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