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


January 28, 2011

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How have you pulled up after yesterday's match?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Good. Good. No changes. I feel good. So I had a light hit this morning. Did some work in the gym.
Yeah, so after this I'll go home and, yeah, just rest a little bit.

Q. Having a family with you, is that a positive or negative when you're preparing for a Grand Slam final?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Um, it's my life. You know, obviously every day is different. Sometimes, you know, if she throws tantrums I'm like, Ah, but sometimes it can be a lot of fun. Yeah, I mean, I don't look at it as the connection to my tennis. It's my life, taking care of Jada when I'm back in the hotel, and I do it whether I'm playing or not.
To me there's no negative or positive. I'm just happy to have them with me, so I guess a positive.

Q. If you hadn't started a family during your brief retirement, do you think you would have come back?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I have no idea. Obviously so many things happened in those two years. You know, probably the loss of my dad as well was something that kind of triggered me trying to do something different for a while to kind of get my mind off it and to try and put some time into kind of myself again I think after those years of taking care of Jada and then my dad.
So I don't know. I mean, if I didn't have Jada, I have no idea. I mean, I can't say yes or no.

Q. You talked yesterday about winning your first Grand Slam. Can you take us back to your actual first final against...

Q. Yeah, way back then in '01. Tell us about your nerves or mindset.
KIM CLIJSTERS: I remember very well the night before just not being able to sleep and just being so nervous. How old was I? 17? Almost 18. Or just turned 18, I think.
So, yeah, I mean, it's very overwhelming if you just think about the fact, Okay, I'm playing my first Grand Slam final. There was so much to do as well, and the media attention just got more and more throughout the week.
It's just very overwhelming when you're that young. Yeah, it did have a big impact on me when I was that little.

Q. Must be an amazing memory.
KIM CLIJSTERS: It is. It is. To be honest, thinking back on the match, there's not much I remember. I think I must have been just, I don't know, somewhere. Very overwhelmed by all the emotions and very hard to describe. Just being able to focus on the tennis side of it, that was very hard, I remember.

Q. Vera said yesterday China should be already very proud of what Li has achieved. How do you feel about her performance and her rise?
KIM CLIJSTERS: She's always been a player that I've always looked at as one of the contenders at a lot of the tournaments. She was never quite able to make it through a whole Grand Slam. She's some good really players, but never was able to step it up when it was really necessary.
I think she has that little extra confidence now, and her game's improved and she's gotten even fitter. I think you see the improvements on her tennis level, but also I think mentally you see a big difference from, let's say, a couple years ago before I retired.

Q. From the perspective of China, though, they haven't had a Grand Slam finalist before.
KIM CLIJSTERS: I'm sure that every country who's never been in a position like that will support their player, athlete, in any sport tremendously. I think it'll open a lot of doors for tennis in that part of the world.
But obviously I'm not Chinese, as you can see, probably. (Smiling.) It's hard for me to comment, because I don't know much about the culture, how they look at sports, how they live, their culture.
So it's hard for me to comment on that side of things that are happening on that side of the world.

Q. You talked about your family. You haven't mentioned your sister, who was obviously a world juniors double champion but then didn't make it on the tour. How does she handle the fact that her sister is so successful? And will she come to the final?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. She just had her second baby, so she's home taking care of two little ones under fourteen months or 15 months. But my sisters, she's my sister. To her, it really doesn't matter whether I'm playing or not. A lot times she misses me that I'm not there and that I'm missing out on things. And I miss that, too. I regret -- or I feel a little bit annoyed sometimes if she tells me, oh, her boy started walking or little things like that. That's just like, Ah, I have to miss those things.
But she's doing really good. It's nice to see that I have that like just normal sister relationship with her. It has nothing to do with me playing tennis or her having played tennis. She's still one of the persons who when I played Strycova in Sydney, like I called her and I'm like, Hey, do you remember anything about her?
You know, little things like that, because she grew up playing juniors with her. So she does help me out once in a while, and I enjoy having her at the tournaments with me. She sits in the box. When I won my first US Open she was there.
I draw a lot of motivation and strength out of her presence at the tournaments.

Q. In light of Justine retiring, how hard is it to come back the second time and accept the grind and the injuries? When you're younger it's a little bit different. The second time around it's got to be a little bit mentally tougher to know you might have to go through rehab.
KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, I had injuries before, so I knew when I started again I knew that that could be part of the second career as well. It's not just all the beautiful things that I thought of when I started again.
So in that sense, you know, I was prepared. I took it very slowly to kind of come back, get back into shape after the pregnancy. There were some injuries here and there where I was like, ah, you know, you wish they don't happen because they kind of put you off schedule.
Then again, you know it's possible. It's possible with any athlete. Look at Nadal. It can happen with any athlete, even if they're 100% in shape. So it's just your mindset. You have to get over that. It's part of being an athlete is trying to learn from a your body. Even when you have an injury, learn from it and see how you can improve it.
I always try to look at an injury as a positive thing, because it can make you work on other weaknesses. When I had my wrist injury, I was able to run a lot and do different things like that. Probably if I would have still been playing, I wouldn't have done a lot of those trainings.

Q. The first time she retired and when someone called you or texted you, did you get like an, Oh, wow, I cannot believe it moment?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. Didn't you?

Q. Yes. It was 3:00 a.m.

Q. Just tell me what you felt like.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I mean, exactly that. I was like a little bit surprised. Then I was like, Okay, focus on your match. Obviously I didn't want to be thinking about those kind of things. My same daily routine had to go on as usual. I didn't want to kind of change that in any way.
So it was, you know, Okay, I know Justine, but that's her decision. For me, I'm here playing. I didn't want to let it influence or affect my daily schedule.

Q. The great players seem to work out players who beat them the next time they play them. What have you worked out from Sydney?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Nothing yet. No, I mean, I think the first five games I played really well there. I stayed very aggressive, stayed on top of my baseline. But that's something that she's going to do as well.
I think it's going to be a matter of who's going to be able to do that first. Who's going to be a little bit more powerful and with the less amount of unforced errors is going to have the best chance to win out there tomorrow.

Q. So you wouldn't change too much?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. I mean, obviously there are a few things that I obviously want to change. First of all, I think my mental preparation for that match in Sydney, I don't think I was quite ready to compete 100% against her in that match.
Again, she played incredibly well, and probably the best that I've ever played against her. So it'll be tough. But, yeah, I mean, I'm going to go out -- after yesterday's match, I'm going to go out and try to do the same and fight for each shot, and then we'll see.

Q. You said when you won the 2009 US Open that Australian Open was one the titles you would like to get as well. How personally satisfying is it to be here the day before the final? Because this could be your last Australian Open.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, it is. That's what I mentioned I think yesterday after my match as well. I know this is probably going to be my last full season on the tour, and then we'll see. You know, it's nice that I'm in this spot to reach the final, to play for the title. I think it's something that is a great feeling to have, knowing that I'm not going to be able to come here for five more years.
So, yeah, it's nice their give myself the opportunity to play a big match to compete for the title.

Q. Evonne Goolagong Cawley, have you seen her?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I've seen her around in the beginning of the week. I haven't seen her the last few days, but I've seen her in the beginning of the week.

Q. She liked how you look in the dress?

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