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June 25, 2005

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: Everyone, Kim Clijsters. We'll start in English, if we may, and then move into Flemish. Are there any English questions?

Q. So this is the one we've all been waiting for on Monday, the 17th meeting between Kim and Lindsay, maybe the two best servers in women's tennis. Can you tell us your thoughts on this match coming up.

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I'm definitely looking forward to it. I think after Paris this is something where, you know, that I -- this is something that, you know, this motivates me. This is a challenge and this is something that I, you know, look forward to playing. I think Lindsay is a great grass court player. Her strokes, she hits the ball so precise. You know, so it's going to be even tougher, I think, to return well and to read her serve and to get her ground strokes back. But, you know, like it motivates me because I know that I have to play a really good match if I want to be able to beat her. But this is something that I do look forward to.

Q. Were you in your best physical condition to compete with Lindsay at the French Open?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Uhm, I don't know. No, probably not, but just because I just didn't have the perfect preparation that I would like to have a Grand Slam. But the French, that's sort of something that happened in the past, and that's something that -- I'm just focusing on what I have to do Monday now. And, you know, of course you take things with you from previous matches. Like I've played her so many times, so I know what her weaknesses and her strengths are. So I know that. But each match is different. I've played against her on grass before. I've lost to her here before. It's going to be really tough but I have to give it my best shot. I'm going to go out there and give myself 100% and we'll see who turns out the best at the end of the day.

Q. Four years ago when you were so young, and she just blew you off the court here, how despondent were you after that match? Did it stay with you a long time?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Uhm, I don't know. Four years ago, that's a long time (smiling). Yeah, they're obviously disappointing, but you learn out of those matches. I think from those kind of matches, those losses have definitely -- like they meant a lot to me because you learn, you know. They motivate you to work harder because, you know, you see the difference that was in that match, between the level that we both were playing. You know, there was still a big difference at the time. And I felt like those kind of matches definitely motivate you to work harder, to get better and to improve every shot that you have. And that shows that there's still a lot of -- you know, that match showed that there's still a lot of work to do. I think I've done that really well. But, you know, you definitely learn a lot out of losses - probably more than out of win matches.

Q. Your serve has been great, and of course got a little bit surprised at the first game today. But what about your jump shot, how is that coming along?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I feel like I'm -- the jump shot (smiling)... No, I feel like I'm -- so far all my strokes are feeling pretty good. I feel like my serve has definitely been the strength, I think, so far. You know, the most consistent shot so far on the grass court tournaments that I've played, in Eastbourne and here as well. I felt like towards every match my ground strokes have started to improve and they've -- you know, I feel more and more control now. I feel like I'm moving well and -- so that's, you know, that's important. But I still feel like everything can -- has to be a little bit better if I want to be able to beat Lindsay on Monday.

Q. What about basketball, do you have a future there?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. I don't really play that much (smiling).

Q. Liking the volley a little more?


Q. Liking the volley a little more?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I do, actually. I've been trying to, you know, come in a little bit more. I think on grass it's a very important -- it's an important shot, I think, because you can finish it off, you know, the points a little bit quicker. Also Vinci today, I mean, it just shows. She played some really good tennis in Eastbourne by playing a lot of volleys, coming to the net, chipping and charging and everything. I'm definitely trying to come in a little bit more. Yeah, I'm also playing mixed doubles so I think that's gonna help as well. I feel like I need that. I need to be more confident at the net. I think playing doubles or mixed doubles is definitely going to help me with that.

Q. A couple years ago the Williams sisters were in four consecutive Grand Slam finals. You and Justine were in I think three or four in a row. Do you think we're seeing that kind of dominance from any two players going forward or is it getting tougher and tougher, that one or two players can dominate the field?

KIM CLIJSTERS: At the moment I think it's very hard to pick two at the moment. I just feel like it's, you know, to be a part of this all is great because there's so many good players out there. To see that everybody's back here, you know, this year, and except Jennifer I think is not here. But to see that everybody's back, and Venus, Serena, you know. It's great to be a part of it all again. But it's very hard to pick, you know, two players who -- because I think, you know, at the moment, like the depth is a lot -- you know, is a lot bigger than it's ever been, I think.

Q. Do you think it's fair to say that the kind of dominance we saw from the Williams sisters is probably over; that they --

KIM CLIJSTERS: From Venus and Serena?

Q. Yeah.

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, you know never know. They're still the strongest and they're still, you know, the toughest athletes. They're still the best athletes out there. But it's just a matter of, you know, they don't play as many matches as a lot of the other girls. But that's their choice. They always -- you know, they're great champions and they have the experience. And that's when, you know -- even I saw a little bit of Serena when she played against Haynes. When she has to, she can do it. That's what winners do. When she has to play well or when she knows that there's a big point coming up, that's when she plays her best tennis and that's what shows.

Q. But beating Angela Haynes is not four consecutive Grand Slams.

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I know, but it helps. You have to get through those matches. You have players, yeah, if you're not, you know -- if you haven't had the experience, if you haven't been in a situation like that before, you have players who just lose a little bit and go down and keep going down. But she always finds a way, even when she's not playing her best tennis, to get through it. That just shows what a good athlete and tennis player she is.

Q. When you're playing against Lindsay's serve, do you feel that once you can get the rally to four or five balls that there's an impatience factor that begins to filter into Lindsay's game, and once you get to that fifth or sixth ball in the rally that the edge on that against her serve now goes to you?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, yeah, you just have to -- I think at the start -- when you play Lindsay you just have to try to get to read her serve during the match. That's the first thing you have to try to do, is try to read her serve. And so you can actually, yeah, see, you know, you could actually start to tell where she's serving. And that's something that you have to adjust to first. And then you just have to try to -- because she hits the ball so powerful, she hits the ball so deep, it's very hard to let her move, especially on grass. From the first shot I'll have to be aggressive and try to dominate the points. If you don't against her, you know, she's going to just put you under pressure, and then you're going to have a lot of pressure on your own serve game. So you just have to keep, you know, keep putting the pressure on her and try to make her move from the first shot you hit.

End of FastScripts….

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