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January 26, 2011

Kim Clijsters


K. CLIJSTERS/A. Radwanska
6-3, 7-6


Q. Did you struggle to concentrate with the planes overhead today?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. I mean, no. They were loud, but it was only for a few minutes. It's not like they were there throughout the whole match. So it was only for a little bit.

Q. You said after the match you were not happy with your game. Could you tell us why.
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, not so much my game. I just physically felt a little bit tired and heavy out there today. I think, you know, just, yeah, try to recover well and try to, yeah, just be a little bit fresher physically and mentally against Zvonareva.
I fought well and stayed really focused, tried not to lose too much energy on getting frustrated and things like that. So, yeah. I mean, got close in that second set. I felt that there were a few things I did really well, but there were also a few things that I just, you know, my own feeling, I just didn't feel quite right every time out there.
There were rallies where I felt good, I was hitting the ball; there were rallies when I didn't feel right in the position where I should be at.

Q. Made a lot of unforced errors today. How much of that is a concern heading into a match against someone like Vera?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Everything has to be better. I mean, serving, returning, the unforced errors. Everything has to be better.
But, you know, I'm in the semifinals and you know, I don't feel like I've played my best tennis probably. So it's a good thing. I feel that I'm hanging in there, working hard, you know, to win my points. Sometimes that's probably even more of an achievement than winning your matches very easily.

Q. That bandage a carryover from your fourth round?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, just to protect it.

Q. Just a protection thing?

Q. Did you feel it at all today, the leg?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no. But I feel the tape and I'm not used to that so it just kind of just feels. So I'm going to think about my next match what I'll do. If I need to think about, you know, not making it worse or if it's okay. 'Cause you do. I mean, I'm not used to playing with tape, so it's just annoying sometimes.

Q. Your record against Vera, she beat you three times out of the four, but you obviously won the US Open final. What about her game is it that troubled you the other times?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Uhm, I think I was playing well at Wimbledon. I won the first set. I kind of just, you know, dropped my game a little bit. She's a player who will be very consistent throughout a whole match, will not really mix her game up tremendously. She'll always give you the same kind of thing. I think she did that really well.
At the US Open I don't think she played her best tennis in the final, and I was able to just really take advantage of that. I played really well in the beginning of the points, moved her around. Yeah, so, I mean, there were obviously two different matches, also I think from her side and also from my side.
It will be tough. There will be a lot of rallies, long rallies I think. But I've always enjoyed playing my matches against her. They've always been a lot of fun. They've been, like I said, like physical and just kind of what you expect coming up for a semifinal.

Q. Do you think your best tennis is better than her best?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Uhm, I don't know. I mean, we'll see hopefully. Hopefully I can bring my best tomorrow. I don't know. I mean, I would like to hope so. But then again, you know, you never know.

Q. Even though you are not ranked No. 1 in the world, you play like it.

Q. Do you feel that you are No. 1 in the world?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. I don't feel like I'm No. 3 in the world. I don't think about a number. I mean, it's a number. I just try to be the best Kim out there whenever I play, and it's not about numbers. I mean, obviously we want to do well. We all want to win.
But, you know, I remember when I first became No. 1. It was something when I was young. It was like, Wow, to be No. 1 in the world. When you actually get to it, It's like, Oh, that's it?
So it's a number, and it's something that you obviously don't get given for free. You have to work very hard to get to that. But, uhm, yeah, like I said, it's just a number.

Q. Vera spoke about how the two back-to-back Grand Slam finals have made her mentally tougher and more experienced. I guess you expect to see a different Vera when you play her.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, of course. I think any match, and especially those losses, those tough losses, I think help you a lot. She was really disappointed after I played against her at the US Open. Spoke to her a little bit then.
But she's the type of player, I've seen her improve a lot. And I think mentally as well she's improved. She used to really have moments where she could really be out of it sometimes, and do a lot of things that, you know, a lot of us players really enjoyed watching her sometimes go a little crazy out there.
But she's really improved that. She's a good player. She hangs in there every point, and that's what makes her so tough.

Q. On the flipside of that, do you think your experience of having beaten her at the US Open will work in your favor here?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, it's a different occasion. It's a semifinal. It's not another final. You never know how she'll deal.
So I'm just not really gonna focus about her too much. I'm going to expect the best Vera to come out tomorrow, and I'm going to have to try and play my best tennis. Everything will have to be better than I did today.
But, you know, that's the challenge. That's the challenge that I'm looking forward to trying to improve tomorrow.

Q. Having said you need to improve on today, do you feel like you're confident you can do that within the space of 24 hours?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I'm going to try. We'll see tomorrow. I mean, I know that I'm also going to have to go out there and play harder, hit the lines better and everything.
Uhm, thinking about the experience that I've had throughout the years, you know, I've always been able to kind of lift - not always - but most of the time been able to lift my game when it was really necessary. So hopefully I can count on that experience a little bit as well.
Yeah, we'll see. I'll speak to you tomorrow (smiling).

Q. This won't be at the forefront of your mind, but can I ask you to think about the men's draw. Who do you think is going to win the men's title? Roger? Rafa?
KIM CLIJSTERS: That's a tough one. You know, Andy is also, you know, after having done well here last year. Djokovic has done well; he's won here. I mean, it's gonna be a very interesting next few days.
I think tonight Rafa will have a match I think that he likes, where he's going to hit a lot of balls, get a better feel for it. I mean, what he's showed in his last few matches has been very impressive; the way he's been moving is great.
But then Roger, too, he just makes everything look so easy.
I don't know. I mean, they're so different, but they're both so likable. Yeah, I don't know. I don't know again.

Q. How does the absence of Serena affect the players?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Uhm, I mean, does it affect us? I don't think it affects us. You know, obviously she's a great player. I think just for the fans and the crowd and to have big matches, I think it's sad to not have her at the tournament.
But does it affect us? No. I mean, we go on with our business just the same as if they would be here in the tournament. I don't think we're influenced too much about who's here, who's not. We all just try to look at it very individually and focus on what we have to do.

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