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 24, 2012

Kim Clijsters


K. CLIJSTERS/C. Wozniacki
6‑3, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You looked in control on the start of the match and suddenly it got tougher at the end of the second set.  How were you feeling in the tiebreak?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Um, you know, I was happy with the way that I was playing.  I just had to try to be a little bit more dominant again.  You know, she stepped her game up and started serving better in that second set.
So I knew that‑‑ you know, I mean, we both played a really good tiebreaker.  I mean, no unforced errors.  We really went for our shots and good serving and good returning.
So I think it was, yeah, it was, you know, important to just stay focused one point at a time and to really, you know, whenever you felt like you could go for that winner, just try to do that.

Q.  Do you feel you were 100% after what happened last match?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah, I'm as best as I can be.  You know, so I'm very happy with the way that I was able to move.  You know, it was so hot out there, as well, so, you know, today it was really tough.  I think one of the toughest conditions I've ever played in.
But, you know, it was good to win that in two sets at the end.

Q.  Can you give us an idea about, say, the last 48 hours how much you had to do to get ready and whether it was a lot more complicated than other times you had to get yourself ready for a match?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah, instead of really focusing on the match you're focusing on trying to get the ankle as good as possible.
Laying on the couch, every 20 minutes ice, 20 minutes off, 20 minutes ice, 20 minutes off.  Leg elevated.  Lymphatic drainage, all that stuff.  I mean, treatment and‑‑
So, yeah, I had a light hit yesterday without really sidewards movement, just try to get a feel for the ball, and then back to the icing and all that same routine all over again.

Q.  Is there any ancient Belgian recipe or snake oil that you used, something that you swallowed or rubbed into it or something?  (Laughing.)
KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, nothing.

Q.  When you hit that big forehand that took you to match point, you looked really relieved, almost emotional.  What was going through your mind then when you got to those two match points?  You hit that enormous forehand.
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah, I was happy with the way that I hit that one.  Obviously I tried to do that, but, you know, that was such an important point, and I really just tried to hit a Nadal forehand (smiling).
Yeah, you know, I just had to go for it.  I mean, I had a good look on it.  I felt like it was sitting right up there, and I felt like I could really rip it inside out.

Q.  Can you explain lack of match practice, I guess, a little injured, where does that unbelievable belief come, the self‑belief come from?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Experience, um, I guess, and yeah, just on the inside trying to fight for each shot.  You know, you feel when you play against players, you know, even if you're not playing your best tennis maybe like I have been in the last couple matches, you always feel like you're in the match.
That's a good feeling to have.  Even if you're not playing your best or not feeling your best, you're still capable of winning those matches.  That definitely helps with your confidence.
I mean, you know, if I can beat good players with not playing, you know, great tennis all the time, you know, then it's up to me to try and play my best tennis when it's necessary.

Q.  Does that give you a sense of destiny what happened against Li a little bit when you saved four match points and win a match like that?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  You know, I mean, that will probably never happen again in my career, so, you know, I was so relieved after that.  Yeah, so, I mean, it just doesn't‑‑ you know, I don't think it changed much in how I approached this match.
Obviously, you know, they're two completely different players.  But it does help, you know, with your confidence.  I was able to, you know, play a good third set against Li as well and to take that with me into the next match.

Q.  Does stress ever really go away in big matches?  Completely where you're out there and you have zero stress at all?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, because I think the stress, the added stress today was dealing with the heat.  I mean, it was to a point where I felt like, This is so hard.  The rallies were long.
So, yeah, that was definitely very tough.  So you're kind of‑‑ you don't want to overplay shots.  But then, on the other hand, you're like, Well, I don't want to keep the rally too long, especially not against her, because that's what she's good at, if you just rally with her.
So the stress will always be there.  It's a part of the sport, and the mental game is just so important, as well.
You know, like I said, experience is something that I definitely have.  I've been on both sides, you know.  I have been on sides where the stress has taken over my game.  These last few years I have been really able to cope with it and just try to not let it impact me.
But the stress is always there in important situations.

Q.  Your ankle in the third set against Li and compared to the second set today, does it feel the same?  Does it feel worse better now two days later?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, I felt like my stomach with all the medicine that I've been taking is probably more upset than anything.  But it's the scary part of it, you know, that you have to get through.
Yesterday my practice I was really just like worried to move, you know, but I was happy that I was able to kind of put that aside and move.
I don't know if that's a good way of saying it, but wisely, you know, trying to not do crazy things.  It was good not to use too much energy in the heat, but also just with my foot trying to always positioning it straight.  You know, the rotation where my foot is in the ground and I like rotate with my foot on the ground, that's, you know, what I'm trying to be careful with, because the ligaments, you know, are definitely a little bit hurt.
So I have to try to make sure my foot is always in the right position.

Q.  Sometimes it's forgotten that after you first became No. 1 it took you more than two years for you to actually win your first slam.  Now Caroline has been going through it for a long time.  She was actually No. 1 a lot more weeks than you were.  Can you kind of relate how tough it is for her to come out every single slam and not win it and people are saying, Oh, you're not a legitimate No. 1?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah, I do.  I mean, you know, she's worked very hard to get to where she is, and she's one of "the" most consistent players.  I remember people are almost in a way almost blaming her for it.  I think that's something that is really absurd.
I think she's great for the game.  She's great for our sport.  She's a great player.  Works extremely hard.  She has really good people around her who, you know, tell her to not listen to all that stuff that's being said in the media room or around her.
You know, she's good enough.  It's just, like you said, I mean, it's taken, you know, me a couple years; it's taken other people, you know, a while as well.
So I think it's all a matter of experience and improving, definitely improving and trying to learn from losses and become better every slam.  Then she will definitely get there.

Q.  She's never beaten players like yourself or Serena.  Did you feel today, maybe especially in the end of the second set, that she's getting closer?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  I definitely felt that she improved her level compared to the first set.  I think one of the better matches she played against me was in Doha where we played the Championships against each other.
She's a fighter.  She has her game and she is so consistent, and, you know, you have to be an aggressive player if you want to beat her.  If you're not going to go for winners and don't feel confident and don't feel like you're playing at your highest level, then she will just rally you until you just make mistakes.  That's what makes her so good.
So when you have to play her, I know when I go out against Caroline, I know that I have to be on top of my game, that I have to step out and play aggressively, but don't overdo it because, you know, the scale can go the other way very quickly.

Q.  Each of the matches you've played so far when you're standing in the tunnel waiting to come out, is there ever a thought this could be the last time I'm coming out onto the court of the Australian Open?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, not yet.  Thanks.  (Laughter.)

Q.  Did you get a scan on the ankle?  What is it exactly?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, I refused.  I already had a scan on my neck a couple days ago.  I said, No more.  Whatever it is, it is.  I'm going to try to make the best out of it.  Then we'll see when I get home how I'm feeling.
I have seen more hospitals these last six months than anything, so no more for me.

Q.  Few thoughts on Azarenka, semifinal match coming up?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Tough player.  Tough match.  She's playing extremely well, playing with a lot of confidence, and, you know, she's gonna be a completely different match than what I was up against today.  Takes a lot more initiative.  You know, hits a lot down the middle of the court, deep, hard.
So it's gonna be very important to be dominant.  You know, she's improved a lot on her fitness and her movement, which was definitely a weakness in the past.  She's worked on that, so she's becoming a more and more complete player.
So it will be tough.  I'll have to play some of my best tennis to try and beat her.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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