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March 24, 2012

Kim Clijsters


Y. WICKMAYER/K. Clijsters
6‑4, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Can you talk about just what happened out there today?  Seemed like you were having a tough time consistency off the ground, from what I could tell.
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah.  I think the conclusion of the match today is that, you know, she, you know, definitely started off much better and was more consistent throughout, you know, the two sets, um, and I wasn't.
So, you know, still it was close.  So, you know, it's in a way a little bit frustrating knowing that, you know, playing maybe not even 50% but still being that close is‑‑ you know, on one hand, you're like, Ah, I could have beaten her, you know, with the way that I was playing and feeling, but she played good.
I mean, she served well, you know.  But I did feel she was getting nervous to finish off the match as well, so I had a few opportunities there to get back into it and maybe win that second set.

Q.  Is there anything in particular about the slow start?  Was it that she got off fast and you're trying to catch up?  Was there anything in particular?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah, I think throughout the tournament I, um, I felt like, you know, playing outdoors again I have to get used to, you know, playing my matches again.  In the beginning of the match I felt like I really had to find my rhythm, and she did that really well.
I mean, she came out and was playing really aggressively, was playing well, and, um, yeah, so she was, you know, better today.

Q.  Sounds like you're chalking a lot of this up to lack of match play; is that fair to say?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  I don't know.  I mean, this is the way I have been playing these last few years since I came back.
So, um, you know, maybe a short period of playing outdoors again, it definitely took me a little bit longer to get used to it again.
I felt like today's warmup and yesterday's practice, I felt like I was starting to move better ask hit the ball better.
So too bad it just didn't work out in the match.

Q.  What's your schedule like from now to the French Open?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Um, I'm scheduled to play Madrid and Rome, and then I'm gonna go probably a week practice somewhere on clay, maybe in Spain or somewhere, so...

Q.  (No microphone.)
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah.  I'm a little allergic to clay.  No.

Q.  It seemed a little bit warmer out today.  Did that have any impact on how you were moving?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  No.  I enjoy playing in these kind of circumstances.  I think it brings another challenge to the table, and it's‑‑ you know, I know physically I worked harder in the last six months than I ever have, you know, so it's ‑‑ you know, to be ready in these kind of circumstances.
In Australia against Azarenka, the third set, you know, those are‑‑ you need to be ready for that.  It is a little bit more humid, I think.  But, you know, that comes down to a few details here and there where you have to make sure that you've had enough fluids.  Not just the day off, but leading up, the weeks before, it's really important to take care of what's ahead, and prevention‑wise, as well.

Q.  So access to outdoor courts has been an issue for you?  You're training Belgium?  Is there anything you can do before Madrid and Rome outdoor to prepare for that?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Well, I'll be‑‑ you know, the clay courts will open up in Belgium.  Like I said, I'm going to be practicing on clay in a little bit of a warmer climate, I think.
Yeah, so just to get used to that a little bit again and to get used to the warmer climate and, you know, give yourself a good week of practice where you don't have to worry about is it going to rain, do I have to go indoors on hard court or not.
This is what my life is now.  Our daughter goes to school.  You know, I practice at home.  I like being there.
Yeah, so...
I'm not gonna change (smiling).

Q.  You're not just someone who can pick up and train in Florida like a lot of players do?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  No.  No, I mean, that's not‑‑ you know, my husband's side of the family, we live in New Jersey there, you know, so it's important for us to see our family.
So we wouldn't like to go to a place just because the climate is better and to, you know...
It's important to‑‑ we love living where we live in Belgium and we love where we are in the States.  So there is a good balance there.
So, yeah, there's no moving to Florida or anywhere else.

Q.  Can you talk about how do you feel about Victoria's run this year?  Are you surprised she's still unbeatable until today?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Am I surprised?  No.  I was actually more surprised in the past that she wasn't able to, maybe not have this good of a run, but to‑‑ you know, because she was a great player already in the past, but mentally she was, you know, so up and down.  She was able to just go off during matches.
That has been, for me, the biggest change that I see in her.  Okay, she's become a little bit of a better mover, but she's still the great ball striker that she's always been.
I think mentally she's just made the biggest change in having that extra confidence.  You see that, you know, from the minute she walks out on court to when she steps off is there is a confidence that comes also through winning.
But she had matches in the past or tournaments where she's beaten some really good players, but then she would get down on herself or really disappointed against other top players.  You don't see that anymore.  I think she's matured in a way out on court.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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