HOMEPAGE > > Kim Clijsters (27 Gennaio)

27/01/2011 13:32 CEST - AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Kim Clijsters (27 Gennaio)

KIM CLIJSTERS b. Vera Zvonareva 63 63

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Q. Is that as good as it gets going into a final?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I mean, I was happy with the way I played. Happy that I was able to raise my level against an opponent where I have to play well and where I have to be very consistent throughout it all. I think in the matches at the US Open I played well against her, but in the other matches at the US Open I started off probably very similar than today's match, but I kind of dropped my level a little bit and let her get back into it.
Obviously today I was able to just stay very aggressive throughout it all and keep my unforced errors down and put a lot of pressure on her. Yeah, so, I mean, it's good. I'm very happy with the way I ended this today.

Q. You said this week hasn't been entirely smooth physically. How much are you going to have to do over the next couple days recovery wise, treatment wise?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Same routine as usually. Obviously I didn't play with the tape today just to give me that kind of different mindset out there. But so, yeah, I mean, just the same routine. I'm not going to do something totally different than what I've been doing. I feel good. There are a few little aches and pains that I would prefer not to have.
But I think everybody at this stage of the tournament will have something going on whether it's blisters, a few sore muscles. But overall I feel very good. Tomorrow I will have a good practice, and then, yeah, do my press commitments and go back out to the apartment and just rest.

Q. What sort of percentage fitness do you think you'll be by Saturday?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Percentage? I mean, it's hard to put a number. Hopefully I'll be 100%. I'll try.

Q. You worked pretty hard to get back to a Grand Slam final outside of the US Open. That must feel pretty good and it's a big opportunity.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, it does. It's nice to be in another Grand Slam final here. You know, obviously when you're close and having played a few semifinals and one final, I think you kind of just tease with that feeling, you know, of maybe going the whole way.
I think that's why, because you get so close it can also be a lot more disappointing if you don't make it. It's nice to be in the situation with the last two standing and trying to finish on top. You know, this is the last match. Just give everything that you have.
It's a nice feeling to have knowing that, yeah, there's one more match to play.

Q. Can I ask you about what you said about taking the wrap or bandage off. By taking it off would it make you play more freely or loose?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Under the white strap there's like very heavy brown tape that they take all the crosses. They kind of just hold the muscle together and do them really tight. And it protects the muscle, but also you feel it pulling every time you land on your serve or if you want to tighten that muscle you feel it pulling every time.
I think that's something that at some point you have to realize, how far do I want to go? Do I want to protect the muscle or just be irritated by the tape? I don't like that feeling. I don't enjoy playing with tape. I don't like prevent my ankles with tape or anything. I think it's just something that's annoying.
So, yeah, after practice today I tried to do some open stand backhands just to see how the inner thigh was feeling. Felt good. I took some medication just to keep the pain away for a few hours so I don't feel it out there.

Q. You played her in the final in Sydney. What do you take out of that? What did you learn?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Um, I remember I was up 5 Love in the first set and let her get back into it again, you know, like she did today. It's never over. I think she's a good player. I think we're very similar type of players. You know, I think we have a lot of things in common on the court.
It'll be an interesting one. But, you know, I have to say I didn't feel my best out there during that final. I think at some point I was already worried about playing Safina in the first round here and everything. But she played extremely well to get back, and was very focused and determined and just, yeah, hit some incredible shots out there. She's playing with obviously a lot of confidence; so am I. Should be a good one.

Q. Is that what you think is similar, that mental strength?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, not just the mental side of it, but also I don't think that she has a very big weakness on the groundstrokes. She has a good, steady serve. Maybe that's where she's a little better than me, the consistency with the serve.
But, no, I mean, she has good looking shots and nothing where you say, Okay, this is a big weakness for her. Everything is heavy groundstrokes and she moves well, she's fit, yeah.

Q. Will you go back and watch the final of that Sydney match?

Q. Having been off the tour and now being back, do you have a more acute appreciation of those moments now?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, of course. When you're younger and you don't know how much longer you're going to be traveling for and playing these tournaments, yeah, you do kind of say, Okay, if it's not this year, I'll work hard and try to be there again next year.
Obviously I know in my situation next year I'm not going to be coming back for many years. You know, it's a nice feeling to have, that I'm given these opportunities and chances to play these finals. So, yeah, I mean, do I enjoy that part of being back on the road and playing again.

Q. Trying to make the most of the time you've got left.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, of course. It's nice. I never expected things to be going so quickly the way they have been. But I believe if you put in the hard work, you know, I mean, anything is possible.

Q. Justine Henin has retired again through injury. Can you make a comment on that?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I mean, I was obviously surprised when I heard that news this morning. To be honest, I haven't been in touch with her, so I can't really know what the situation is with her elbow.
Obviously it's a sad situation to see such a great player end her career in this kind of way.

Q. It's going to be the first Grand Slam final for Li Na. Do you think it's going to be a disadvantage for her because of her lack of experience and you are more experienced to be on the big stage?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. I mean, everybody reacts a little differently in those kind of situations. Obviously it took me a few tries to win my first Grand Slam. So you never know. Everybody reacts differently. Some players are very easy and can block it out very easy.
She's played big matches. She's a little bit older and been on tour, so it's not like she's a teenager and coming up and is overwhelmed by the whole situation. She has that kind of experience a little bit.
Obviously not in a situation like, okay, you're playing for a Grand Slam title. So, yeah, I mean, I look at it as just another match. Obviously you get nervous and you get tight. But I think now that I'm a little bit older I'm able to make that switch a little bit better and just focus on the tennis side of it.

Q. Can you recall your memory when you first won your first US Open, which was in 2005? How does it feel?
KIM CLIJSTERS: It's a moment that's very spontaneous. It's very hard to describe. Obviously it was an amazing feeling to have. And even my last two, I mean, I really enjoyed the feeling is very intense let's say the first 15 minutes after that last shot is hit.
But after that, I mean, life goes on. Nothing dramatically changes. To be honest, nothing.

Q. There have been interesting storylines in the tournament with Li Na making her first final and Francesca having this amazing match against Svetlana. Do you think this bodes well for the upcoming season?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah. Yeah, obviously. But I think we have matches like that all year round where there is some really good tennis being played. Obviously when it's a Grand Slam it's probably a little bit more in the spotlight. I think that's what makes it so hard.
A lot of the people talk about a lot of the favorites being out of the tournament. I think it's amazing seeing somebody like Schiavone come back and play great at this stage of her career. To see her so motivated and fighting is very encouraging I think also for a lot younger players out there.
She's definitely a role model and such a fun person to be around in the locker room as well. Definitely one of the girls I always support and even learn a lot from still.


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