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January 13, 2011

Kim Clijsters


K. CLIJSTERS/A. Kleybanova
4-6, 6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tougher than you expected?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Um, No, because the last match I played against her was a tough one. I lost to her, so I knew that it was going to be tough.
She's a very unpredictable player. I think her game is very tough to read. Even during the rallies I think she can just change directions so easily.
And also I think because of her different type of technique, it makes it a little bit harder to react at that right time every time.

Q. Were you pleased with how you reacted when you got into those situations?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, of course. I mean, I'm pleased with the way that I finished off and with the way that -- you know, it probably wasn't my best tennis, but I had to work for it really hard.
I think that's something that's also part the of preparation and something that I need is to kind of in a way play that work tennis, you know, where you have to just keep fighting, and even if you're not playing your best or if you're not always able to play your own game or the way that you would like to play and put under pressure and just try to work your way through points and through matches like that.
You learn a lot. You get out of out of a match like this.

Q. The way she seemed to slow down, the way her game was heading, particularly during points and things like that, was that frustrating you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no. I mean, no, it doesn't. I just try to focus on my side of the court and not worry too much about what she's doing. When she took an injury timeout, I mean, I don't want to waste my energy on being frustrated.
The only thing that it does on my mind is trying to be fresh and warm and ready so that I'm still warm to play that next shot, even if I have a three-minute break or so.

Q. The injury timeouts, did you feel there was some gamesmanship going on there?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I really don't think she's the kind of girl who would do things like that. I mean, I don't know obviously, but I don't think that that was a part of her tactics.

Q. What kind of recovery will you do to get up for tomorrow?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I just ran for about 20 minutes on the treadmill, and then stretched for about another 20 to a half hour and did some exercises. Yeah, normal cool down. Probably a little longer than usual. Yeah, that's it. Just had a shower, freshened up.

Q. A massage?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Not yet. That will be later. Not enough time. I have to talk to you guys first.

Q. You have play with Na Li five times, and only once after your comeback. Talk about her game.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, she's always been a tough player. I think we kind of, in a way, play a similar type of tennis. She also likes to play inside of the court; has a good backhand; likes to mix it up.
I think we've had some tough matches, but also some matches that were filled with a lot of good tennis. I think that's hopefully what it'll be like tomorrow.
I mean, if we both play at our best, you know, it's going to be really tough. I think it's a 50/50 chance, I think.

Q. Do you think Kleybanova is better than a 25 in the world player?
KIM CLIJSTERS: If she plays like this on a consistent basis, yes, I think she should be ranked higher. But she doesn't do that all the time. I think she has the tendency to do it against a lot top players, but, you know, a lot times when she plays lower-ranked players or when she plays matches that she is supposed to win, she can't quite produce that same level.
So that's why she's ranked around that 25 spot. Because she has really good results, but then they don't always follow up on each other.

Q. Is there anything in the big, slamming groundstrokes kind of play that troubles your game particularly?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. I mean, it's just a matter of who throws out the punches first, I guess. You have to try and recover and try and take over.
Today as well, I mean, I know that I have to try and make her move, but it's not that easy to get -- to break through her shots because they're so flat and a lot times very deep and she changes directions at weird kind of moments where I didn't expect it.
So I kind of always felt that I was put under pressure a little bit, so I was really trying to like focus and telling myself, Okay, step forward. Whenever you get a second serve, at least try and step up a little bit and be a little bit more aggressive at times.
But it's not always that easy, because she also likes to take over the pace from the other player. But I won, so it's okay.

Q. The quality of this match, would that be sort of quarterfinal, semifinals of a Grand Slam?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I think so. Again, if she plays like that, I think she's definitely a contender to beat a lot top players. Was it last year when she played Justine where she almost like beat Justine in the Australian Open? That's a perfect example of how well she can play, but then just not quite finish it off.
So, yeah, I think she is definitely a player who's a very tough outsider and can make it very tough for a lot the players.

Q. And from your side though, the match tonight and then obviously a final tomorrow, that's the sort of thing that would be ideal for you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I think physically this was the toughest match that I've played. Tomorrow I have one more match, and then I have the next day off and then I can kind of work my way into Melbourne.
Obviously the tension and everything, it was fun to play a match like this, because my first matches were all two sets. You know, a couple sets were closer, but never really in a way like this. So it was nice to have a match like that.

Q. Two Sydney titles. Another one here, what would that mean?
KIM CLIJSTERS: That would be great. You know, obviously it will be a tough match tomorrow. I've always enjoyed playing here. I play well in places where I like it and where I like going to. Hopefully I can repeat one more time tomorrow.

Q. Do you still embrace the Aussie Kim sort of thing that Australians still associate you with?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. It's nice. I mean, it's nice to feel welcome and feel that supported. Obviously I know that it goes back to -- I have no connection to Australia anymore, so it goes back to my relationship with Lleyton. But that's about it.
It is nice to have that warm welcome whether I'm in Brisbane last year, here in Sydney, or I'm in Melbourne. It is nice, yeah.

Q. Keep making finals in our tournaments and maybe you should get your citizenship.
KIM CLIJSTERS: It's just so far away. (Laughter.) I love being here. My husband does, too. But it's just so far from our families. (Smiling.)

End of FastScripts

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