Very cool Kim article/interview on CNNSI - TennisForum.com

 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2002, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Very cool Kim article/interview on CNNSI

Found this on the CNNSI tennis home page:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/ins...theim_insider/

No glam, all game

Clijsters prefers to make statements on the court
Posted: Monday August 05, 2002 3:35 PM
________ _

Belgium's Kim Clijsters is one of the few players armed with the weapons and blessed with the physique to topple the Williams dynasty. But unlike her boyfriend, Lleyton Hewitt, who competes more fiercely than any player since Jimmy Connors, Clijsters has found a way to be a top player without turning every match into a blood feud. Generally regarded as the nicest player in the sport, Clijsters chatted with CNNSI.com last week from San Diego. Herewith, excerpts from the interview.

CNNSI.com: Where do you see yourself in the spectrum of women's tennis right now?
Kim Clijsters: That's a tough question. I don't really see myself as a top player. I always just try to compete in every match I play. I've always had that outlook on my career and on life. I've been [ranked] No. 3, I know that. But for me, the rankings aren't that important.

CNNSI.com: Really? I mean, you're young, you've had a lot of strong results already. You don't see yourself as one of the players who are front and center as the future of women's tennis?
Clijsters: I hope I'll be a part of that, but I don't think in the future so much. I know I've been lucky with my career. Everything has been going forward. I had a few weaker tournaments and wasn't playing so well but now I'm playing better. That's a good sign. But if you see 19-year-old girls, they're in school or university. I'm lucky and thankful that I'm capable of doing what I love to do.

CNNSI.com: I'll bite. What would you be doing if you weren't a tennis player?
Clijsters: Oh, I always liked tennis more than school, but I think I would enjoy being a student. Also, I love animals. I think I maybe a vet.

CNNSI.com: Back to tennis ... you obviously have a healthy perspective, but what do you make of this abnormal life you're leading?
Clijsters: I had to sacrifice a lot of things when I was younger. I hardly had any friends. I was always practicing after school so I hardly went to any birthday parties, things like that. When you're that young, it's tough. I had more friends in the juniors that I'd only see at tournaments than I had in school. But I appreciate this life. Especially when things happen like September 11 or you go to kids' hospitals, you really realize how lucky we are and how much worse it could be.

CNNSI.com: It's only an arm injury. It's only a loss.
Clijsters: Right. If that's the least, I would be OK.

CNNSI.com: Have you come to terms with your popularity?
Clijsters: It's tough. You start off playing tennis and you don't think about becoming famous or being in the newspapers or on TV. It's nice that they [publicize] it and people can enjoy watching you play, but on the other hand, the attention that comes with it can be a lot. You have to get used it. I've been lucky having my mom and dad. They've been there. You know, my dad was a soccer player and played in a few World Cups. He knows what it's like. My mom was a gymnast and she knows, too. My parents also don't know so much about tennis, and they've never pushed me. Even now it's like, "Be happy, be healthy and do what you want to do. If there's day that you don't want to play and feel you've had enough, then that's fine." What they also say is, "If you stop playing tennis, I think you'll miss it. And if you're going to do it, focus 100 percent."

CNNSI.com: What's the most fun thing your fame has enabled you to do?
Clijsters: Definitely, there are more fun things than bad things. A lot of doors open. I've gotten to go to dinners with famous people. Even in tennis, when I was little I was always watching Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati. Now they're my friends. You realize they're only people.

CNNSI.com: You're friends with ... ?
Clijsters: Yeah, on the WTA Tour people think no one talks to each other. Actually, there's a really good atmosphere in the locker room. We all enjoy being around each other and being together to support women's tennis. People see us competing and being rivals, but they don't see everything behind the scenes. Of course, if you have a tough match you're not best friends straight after. But overall, in my family, we've been through so much with health problems, it's like, if you lose a tennis match, so what? You're not going to die if you lose a match, and I think a lot of players don't realize that.

CNNSI.com: One of the successes of women's tennis is this culture in which players are very charismatic -- even a little outrageous sometimes -- and very marketable. You have Martina, the Williams sisters, obviously Anna, and so forth. Have you felt pressure to be more charismatic than you might naturally be?
Clijsters: No, not at all. Every girl tries to look nice and look after herself. You have to look fit. But I've never changed my personality or what I am just to be more famous or more popular. I don't need that. I just want to be the best tennis player. My big concern was never being on TV or being a star or being in the magazines. We have a good mixture of everything -- every person is different -- and I think that's good for the tour.

CNNSI.com: The Williams sisters obviously have been the story this year. You're mentioned as one of the few players with the game to stand toe-to-toe with them. How much pressure do you feel to break their hold, to step up and make women's tennis more competitive?
Clijsters: I don't feel pressure. I want to give 100 percent. I know I have to be fit if I want to compete with those top players. Especially in the quarters and semis, the matches get tougher. But I don't want to be fit just to beat Venus and Serena.

CNNSI.com: In three years on the tour, going from the juniors to an elite player, what has surprised you most?
Clijsters: I guess the attention you get. In the juniors, you play and then you're done. Here, you're away, there's travel. There are adjustments. But I think the WTA has done a great job helping with the adjustment from juniors. You quickly realize that it's a different world, but the adjustment is gradual. It's been very learnful. Is that a word? I mean, you mature a lot. Week in, week out the traveling is tough but it comes with it. I don't realize it any more, It's like a habit. When I'm home for a week or two weeks, I'm so bored after two days. This life, it's really something I enjoy. I mean, people are looking after you, we go to nice places, the weather is usually good so we play outdoors.

CNNSI.com: Now that you've split with Carl Maes as your coach, whom are you traveling with these days?
Clijsters: My dad. He came to Stanford. He's going home after Montreal. I've got a new coach. He's coming the week before the U.S. Open. I have a week off, so we'll be training in New York. His name is Marc Dehus. When Carl's wife gave birth, Mark filled in and I actually won my first tournament with him. So we already have worked well together.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2002, 09:53 PM
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good interview

ThanX
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2002, 12:19 AM
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Kimmy's so sweet Thanx 4 the article!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2002, 02:11 AM
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Thanks for the article Kim's such a sweetheart! You can't help but like her
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2002, 08:05 AM
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Great Interview!!!!

Sweet as Belgian Chocolate, Bubbly as Champagne






"When you do your best, it's always good enough" - Kim Clijsters

"No matter what happens, you have to try to stay positive, bad things can happen, but if you try to stay positive, something positive will come out of it…I believe that everything happens for a reason" - Kim Clijsters


"Goed is de ergste vijand van zeer goed" - Pascal Smet

"Als je iemand idealiseert, verlies je het contact met de werkelijkheid"

"Ca s’apprend par la souffrance, ça s’apprend par les déceptions, ça s’apprend par la densité du mal que ça te fait, plus ça te fait mal et plus ça te fait grandir. Y a des moments où tu te dis je ne vais pas le supporter, ça, ça fait trop mal, et pourtant tu passes au travers."
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2002, 08:11 AM
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Great article

GooD LucK To
Kim Clijsters


... And To My FriendS
AxeL - David - Dario - PauL - Martin - Wojtek
Kevin - Felix - Amri - Jordan - Manu - James - Bram - Ellen

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2002, 08:43 AM
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Nice interview.

Hmm... so she didn't have a coach with her at Stanford.... so the guy who was watching her and holding a racquet (using it to move balls out of the way and never swinging with it) could have been her dad?

I browse once in a while.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2002, 12:25 PM
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Thanks!!!
Really nice interview
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2002, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cynicole
Nice interview.

Hmm... so she didn't have a coach with her at Stanford.... so the guy who was watching her and holding a racquet (using it to move balls out of the way and never swinging with it) could have been her dad?
What did the guy look like??

btw Thanks for posting the interview, it's great

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2002, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by angele87


What did the guy look like??
Darnit, now I wish I took pictures! But, then again, they were a fair distance away.

The guy was taller than Kim, had grey-ish hair which was kinda long (and looked thick to me). Very solid looking...but I couldn't tell if it was muscle or a bit of fat.

What stuck out for me was that he never hit the ball to Kim...whereas all the other coaches worked 'with' their players.

I browse once in a while.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2002, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cynicole



The guy was taller than Kim, had grey-ish hair which was kinda long (and looked thick to me). Very solid looking...but I couldn't tell if it was muscle or a bit of fat.
Yep, that's Lei

GooD LucK To
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... And To My FriendS
AxeL - David - Dario - PauL - Martin - Wojtek
Kevin - Felix - Amri - Jordan - Manu - James - Bram - Ellen

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2002, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lleyki


Yep, that's Lei
Darnit! Wish I knew! Then again, I'm sure tons of fellows fit the vague description I gave. (Any pics around?)

Oh well, that would explains things though.

I browse once in a while.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2002, 08:43 PM
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Thanks for posting the article!

a Lleyki+, an Evil Queen of Suspense and the wicked Mod of CCL - THE place to be for lounging
on LLL: baptized as Wise Yoda (although the new and improved, vain version )

Kim, Queen of the US Open '05!

"Ships in harbor are safe, but that's not what ships are built for." (J. Shedd)
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2002, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cynicole


Darnit! Wish I knew! Then again, I'm sure tons of fellows fit the vague description I gave. (Any pics around?)

Oh well, that would explains things though.
Cynicole, did he look like this? Have here 3 pics of Kim's dad:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg roland garros 2002 leo clijsters cheering for lleyton close-up.jpg (12.7 KB, 112 views)

a Lleyki+, an Evil Queen of Suspense and the wicked Mod of CCL - THE place to be for lounging
on LLL: baptized as Wise Yoda (although the new and improved, vain version )

Kim, Queen of the US Open '05!

"Ships in harbor are safe, but that's not what ships are built for." (J. Shedd)
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 2002, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by KaseyL


Cynicole, did he look like this? Have here 3 pics of Kim's dad:
Yep. That's him.

I browse once in a while.
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