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July 2, 2012

Kim Clijsters


A. KERBER/K. Clijsters
6‑1, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  When you walked off the court today knowing it was going to be your last time here at Wimbledon, what was going through your mind and your heart?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Well, what I was thinking about was probably the match still.  Wasn't so much about the last time.  Not at all actually.  I didn't really think about that.
It was just, you know, I just had the feeling that there was absolutely nothing I could have done today to have won that match.  You know, I just felt, like, my opponent was better on every level.  You know, that's all I was thinking about.

Q.  As you do think about it now, what are your thoughts?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Right now?  I don't know.  I haven't thought about it properly.

Q.  What do you think you'll be sorriest to leave behind knowing this is your last Wimbledon?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  I won't be sorry about anything.  I mean, I know that every time that I've played here I've given my best, and that's the only thing that I can try.  You know, some days it's good, some days it's great, and some days it's not good enough.
And that's something that I'll never regret.  I'll never say that I didn't work hard enough or I didn't practice hard enough.
So I don't think I'll feel sorry about anything when I leave.

Q.  What gives you the most satisfaction in terms of the impact you've had on the tour and on the players?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  I don't think about myself in that way at all.  I just try to be myself.  You know, I have good friends on tour, and that's what's important to me.
I don't think, you know, about what impact I have.  I don't look at myself in that way at all.

Q.  This is such a wonderful event in our sport.  It's hard to ask, but if you could put a couple of favorite memories about this event.
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah, sure.
It obviously all started I think from when I was a youngster, being at home even before I was a junior watching Wimbledon during summer holidays from Belgium, watching it on TV.  You just kind of felt the magic coming through the television, I think.  So that was kind of my first connection with Wimbledon.
And then as I got older, when I was able to be here for the first time as a junior, it was just very special.  I mean, I think the first year that I played here, I was here just to take it all in.  I don't even think I was here to play tennis.  I needed to just open my eyes and look at everything.
It's so new.  It was such, you know, an amazing thing.  It was like to me this was like Disneyland to another child.  So it was such a beautiful thing.
So, yeah, I think the next year or the year after I was able to make the finals here in juniors, and that was a very special moment.  I was able to go to the championship ball.  Won doubles here.
So I have a lot of good memories, a lot of special memories also emotionally with my family and my with my dad.  Yeah, it's a nice place to go back to every year.

Q.  Any special memories with your father here?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  I mean, there is a funny one that I think kind of‑‑ he wouldn't probably come to all my matches.  I think he was here for three or four days, and I don't think he saw me play for one minute because it rained for three days in a row.
He sat on the side of the courts on the wooden benches.  He sat in the rain and waited for the ballkids or the groundsmen to take the covers off because he wanted that seat because he thought that would bring me luck.  So he just sat on that seat.  The next day again he rushed over to that seat.  So that's with him one of the funny ones that I have.
Playing Steffi here was for me definitely one of my dreams come true as a young up‑and‑coming player.  To be playing Steffi in her last Wimbledon was very, very special.

Q.  If you had the opportunity to mentor young girls in the future, what would you be telling them are the important qualities both on and off the court to make it successfully on the tournament?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  It's kind of hard.  I think you need to individualize.  If I would do that ‑ and it's something that I, you know, probably have been thinking more of in the last few months it's something that I would like to maybe do in the future.  But it's hard to kind of just say, Okay, this, this and this.  I think it needs to be very individual.
I think there's not one advice or one tip that works, you know, for a whole bunch of kids.  Everybody's different.  Having been around for the second week of Grand Slams, I've been able to see some of the juniors and met some of the juniors.  It's a lot different I think than when I was playing juniors.
But in a way, yeah, I think for me, you know, I had learned so much from, let's say Sabine Appelmans, when I was able to practice with her.  You know, if I can help a junior in any way to share my experience and my knowledge, you know, about anything, any questions, I mean, I would be very happy to help out.

Q.  In the next two months, how much do you think your power of observation, the little things that have made you happy, will be increased?  What will you do to savor all the moments over the summer that's ahead?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  What I've noticed is that I've probably explained more to my daughter, as where in the past I was just like, you know, if she wanted to‑‑ I mean, I did my stuff on court or at the courts, and then whatever she felt like doing little trips here and there.
But now I've noticed that I explain to her more about tennis on the road, especially here about Wimbledon, too, about the history a little bit.  I've caught myself like explaining to her, yeah, little details that I remember from when I was a child.  I tell her those things, and it's fun in a way to pass those things on.

Q.  What were your thoughts on the person who beat you today and her future in this tournament?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  The way that she played today, you know, obviously this is the first time I ever played against her, but she played incredible.  I think she played close to the perfect match.
Like I said, I never had a chance to get into the match or where she kind of dropped her level a little bit.  She was on every level just too good:  served better, returned better, and just in the rallies was hitting the ball very deep, very fast onto the bounce, anticipating really good as well.
It was too good.  So I look forward to just watching her here obviously the rest of this tournament and just seeing her in the future, how she does against different players.

Q.  She plays Lisicki next.  What do you make of that match?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  There will be a different vibe to that match, two Germans playing each other.  I definitely think she's a better mover than Lisicki.  Lisicki has a great serve, has a very good kind of first shot.  She likes to hit that 1‑2 shot, a good serve, then open up the court with the serve and really hits aggressive.
I think Kerber is more of an all‑around player, plays really well, anticipates really well, but is a great mover.  And I think on grass, you know, yeah, it will be close.  Then the whole German situation I think will probably have an effect, too.

Q.  What was the punchline to the story you were telling about your dad sitting there?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, he had to go home.  He didn't see me play.

Q.  Obviously that image of your daughter in New York is a great image.  Is she aware of that, or have you talked to her about that?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, no.  Once in a while like when we get a picture sent to sign to our house.  I show her and she's like, Oh, mommy, you won the trophy.
No, I don't have pictures of trophies or trophies up in our house.  No.

Q.  Does she have any sense how special Wimbledon is?
KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah, I do think that she, maybe through me obviously and through everybody, even my husband, you feel that it's different here.  So I think in that way she does feel that it's a little bit more special I think because it means a lot to us, as well.
On the other hand, she's also older again, so it's probably easier for her to understand.

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