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AUSTRALIAN OPEN


January 20, 2012


Kim Clijsters


MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

K. CLIJSTERS/D. Hantuchova
6‑3, 6‑2


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  A bit of a patchy performance tonight.
KIM CLIJSTERS:¬† Yeah.¬† But second set much better.¬† First set was definitely a little bit‑‑ had to get a feel for it.¬† You know, longest break as well.¬† Day off yesterday, night match tonight.¬† So I felt like I kind of just had to get, you know, find my aggressive footwork and positioning on the court.
But, you know, I was able to, at the important points, you know, win those points and make the right decisions.  Obviously at the end of the day, when you're not playing your best, that's what it comes down to is just trying to play the important points as well as possible.
I was able to do that today.  So second set was much better.  I'm pleased that I finished a lot better than how I started.

Q.  The unforced errors, pretty high rate tonight.
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah, that sums up what I just said now.  You know, I think in general, the type of player that I had in front of me who hits the ball very low over the net where you're going to have to step in, there's going to be a higher unforced error count, I think.  But in general, I still felt like I was hitting enough winners.
Again, made the right decisions on important points at the important time and didn't come up with any unforced errors there.  So that's obviously the most important thing.

Q.  Did you closely watch the match tonight between the other two girls?
KIM CLIJSTERS:¬† A little bit.¬† I'm sure my coach, he will watch it all and‑‑ is that Tomic winning?
No, I'll definitely watch some of it.  I'll go home and have my massage and that's usually when we have the night match on.  I'll go to bed, and my coach and Carl and Stefan, they'll watch it and scout it.  And then I'll find out tomorrow who I will have to play.

Q.  Regarding the opponent you faced tonight and the one you have to face in the next round, do you think you got a pretty tough draw?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  In a Grand Slam, you know, every draw is tough.  You're going to be in a situation where you're going to be in the fourth round and it's always going to be tough in the fourth round.  You have some tough players out there.
So in a way it's going to be nice to play Li Na, to have the final from last year because it was such a great match for both of us to be a part of.  So it would be nice to play against each other again.  But, yeah.

Q.  Do you think match play is overrated for veteran players?  You and Maria and Serena all come in with very little and you're all winning.
KIM CLIJSTERS:  I think when you're a little bit older you're capable of, in your mind, to set your mind to what it is like to play a match again.  You have your routines.  Again, I come back to routines, but they're so important.  You have your game that you know that you're going to stick to.
I think when I was younger, I mean, I needed to play those matches to kind of get a feel for how I had to play and what my coach wanted of me and those kind of things.  Now I know out there.  Even after two years off, when I stepped out there, when I got out on the court, I knew what my game was, and I didn't need a lot of the matches to find that again.
Okay, you need to get used to the emotions and the pressure and the stress a little bit, but when it comes down to finding your own confidence, I mean, that's there.  You've done that so many times and been in big situations so many times.
It's something that you can't‑‑ yeah, you'll never forget that.¬† You know, I'll never have any situation for the rest of my life, I assume, where I'm going to be using that again.

Q.  So since obviously this year is probably going to be your last year, do you think to yourself when you're on court, I pretty much hit any top level, or do you think maybe if I played another year I can improve more?  Is there more tennis left in you or was last year, Australian Open and maybe this year, as good as it will ever get for you?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Well, I still believe that I can improve.  I would like to improve every day.  That's one of the main reasons why I decided to put Carl on board again.  I want to learn from him and improve.  So I would prefer not to wait until next year to try and improve.
Like I said, I would like to improve every day and I have the feeling that I have been improving on a lot of different areas as well as emotionally, tactic‑wise, physically, and confidence.¬† I think those are a few of the things that I felt I needed to improve on.
Yeah, it's great for me to be in a situation with Carl where I still feel like I can improve on all those things and I'm not stuck to where I feel like I'm at my top level.
You know, look at Nadal, Federer.  You know, you can always improve.  You can always become better.  You can always work out harder in the gym and work out differently.
Yeah, you just learn yourself better and better and more about yourself, and then you keep improving.

Q.  No problem with the hip?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, no problem.  Too bad.  Last question.

Q.  Do you think Li Na is a different player compared to last year mentally, considering she's a Grand Slam winner right now?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Well, unfortunately I wasn't around for too much longer after I played her here last year, so I don't know.  I haven't played her since last year.  So if I play against her again, it'll be exactly a year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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