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 18, 2004

Kim Clijsters


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Kim in English.

Q. How is the ankle?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It's getting better. It's still not a hundred percent, but, you know, I've come here and decided that I'll play. Whenever I decide that, I'll you know, give myself a hundred percent, so, yeah. It's not tough at all. I'm happy that I can play. I'm really keen to getting out on the court, especially after having the season off, you know, in December. You really want to play matches. Also having a great time in Perth and being in Sydney last week, not being able to practice for a few days and stuff was hard because you see everyone practice. You know, it's tough. No, but I started hitting three days ago, two days ago. Yeah, it feels okay. But I play with tape and stuff, so that's probably what I'll have to do for a while now.

Q. What is the medical advice, are you risking hurting it by playing?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I can't make it worse.

Q. It's just a matter of how much pain you can put up with?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. And that should be okay. I mean, if I don't do anything bad like what happened at the Hopman Cup, I can play with it. So that's fine.

Q. Are you worried about getting seven matches? Quite a schedule over two weeks.

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. But that's, you know, if I wouldn't think -- if I would think that I wouldn't be able to do that, I wouldn't start the tournament. You know, that's why I didn't play Sydney. Maybe I could win one or two matches, but I couldn't get through, you know, the matches and play 100%. If I know I'm not capable of doing that, I'm not going to start the tournament. I don't think it's fair to the crowd and to the tournament, as well, to put myself in that position. But, no, I've come here and I've practiced. This morning was my third practice. It was feeling good. You know, you're still a little bit scared, you know, moving around and stuff, because it's still fresh in your mind, as well. And every practice, I feel like I'm more and more relaxed and I'm not thinking about it all the time, so that's a good sign.

Q. Do you come back here with good memories, or does the manner of the way you went out last year haunt you at all?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no, not at all. Definitely with good feelings and, you know, I mean, it's always good to start the year again here, and it's always fun to start the year. No, that's definitely not something I'm thinking about at all. I've been here now a couple times for the Davis Cup matches, the semifinal and the final, and they were a lot of fun. You know, weird in a way, as well, because you come here and everything's empty, like inside the grounds and stuff. It looks completely different. But, yeah, no, no bad feelings at all.

Q. Is it like playing in front of a home crowd here in Melbourne?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, I do enjoy it. It's such a great support. I really think the Australian fans, if you watch Davis Cup matches and everything, they're fair. You know, I've been to a couple of Davis Cup matches where the crowds are very one-sided. But here, you can tell that the people understand what they're seeing, and they understand the sport. You know, that's what I enjoy, as well.

Q. You feel they're behind you, as well?

KIM CLIJSTERS: It's always nice if you can go to places and get a lot of the support. I've made a lot of friends here in Melbourne, as well. To invite them over, it always makes it special.

Q. You say if you pulled out, it wouldn't have been fair to the fans and whatnot. Are you saying now you're pretty much a hundred percent?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, not a hundred percent, but I feel like I'm capable of playing all my matches, you know, if I get through. If I play with my tape, you know, I've done everything I could, I've had a lot of treatments and I've done everything that I could to get as good, as ready as I could be.

Q. Given the amount of people that have withdrawn from the tournament, has that been an added inspiration for you to play?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, you know, I think it's an individual sport. And, of course, you see people who are pulling out. But it's still very strong. You have, what is it, four out of the top five players that are here. So, you know, it's still a very tough tournament. And everyone is really, you know, fresh again to start the year, and everyone's very motivated. So that makes it tough, as well. But, no, like I said, it's very individual. Especially with my injury and everything now, I'm not focusing on what's happening in the draw and stuff. I just focus on what I have to do.

Q. How would you rate your chances?

KIM CLIJSTERS: You know, I don't do that. I just focus on my first round. First of all, I'm glad that I'm practicing again, and I'm glad that I'm out on the court and moving and stuff. You know, that's my first priority, is trying to get out there for my first match. So that's not something I'm thinking about at all, no.

Q. Can you take us through a little bit of the preparation you had?

KIM CLIJSTERS: My coach came over, as well. He got there on the 14th of December. We've been training really hard, you know, a little bit of everything. A lot of tennis, of course. In the beginning, it was a lot of, you know, physical training, a lot of workouts. A couple of times we did some sand hills. You know, like just everything, other sports as well, mountain biking, racquetball, and stuff like that. So it was very intense but fun. And I think that's what it should be. Yeah, no, I had a great time. You know, spending Christmas and everything in Adelaide with our friends and stuff was a lot of fun, as well.

Q. Same time zone, same conditions, how big an advantage is it that you've been in Australia for a month?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I think it helps. But there's a lot of players, as well, that go to warmer climates, maybe not Australia. But I think a couple of players have come to Sydney a little bit earlier already, as well. I think Myskina went to Sydney before she came to Perth. She was there for a few weeks. And a lot of players go to America, you know, to get used to the climates. But definitely I think, you know, especially from the players that come directly from Europe, it's definitely an advantage, you know, just with the climate and the jet lag and everything. It's always tough to come to a tournament, you know, where you still need a few days to adjust. I'm way over that already now, so...

Q. Are you still planning to play doubles?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, not here, no, no. But I will play doubles, you know, through the rest of the year. I'll play a little bit of doubles, yeah.

Q. Is that something you might cut back on?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, definitely. Especially in the Grand Slams, I think, you know, I'll really reduce that. And also the tournaments before the Grand Slams. Because I really felt like, you know, last year doubles was definitely, you know, myself, and for my doubles partner last year, Ai, a priority, to be No. 1 in singles and doubles, I got in the Top 10. You sort of talk about those things when you're playing together and want to make championships and everything. This year I've done that now, so, yeah, I think in a lot of ways it's sort of had a little bit of an influence on my singles, especially at the Grand Slams, as well. You know, you learn. Definitely last year has been a very, very good learning experience for me.

Q. Would you have any comment to make about Todd's achievement yesterday?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Oh, it was incredible. I've been really lucky to get to know them - personally, as well - and see how professionally he takes everything. You know, it's incredible. I think he's definitely -- I've had the chance to practice with him a couple of times. He's definitely the best player out there by miles, I think. So, yeah.

Q. Looking back on last year, getting right to the latter stages, is there anything you have thought of over the off-season that you'd like to do differently if you get into those situations?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I don't think anything tennis-wise. Like with the doubles, that's something that I'll definitely reduce because I really felt like I was just run down at the end of the Grand Slams. So I'll definitely, you know, reduce that. So that's probably the main changes I've made maybe for this year. I still feel like I need to play doubles, because it's helped me get to No. 1, as well. It's made me a more complete player. Yeah, but like at a couple of the Grand Slams -- at the beginning of the year, when you're fresh and stuff, it's fine, you can take it easy. But at the end of the year, when you're playing matches, and doing well at the singles, it's tough to combine it every week.

End of FastScripts….

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