Kim's Interview After Win Over Venus
Press conference with KIM CLIJSTERS
Clijsters versus Williams 1:6 6:3 6:4
Q: Congratulations. There were moments when you seemed to be like in a zone, you disappeared and you just played everything right. Can you describe these moments?
A: I think in the first set I was making a little too many unforced errors. On the other hand she was playing really well, she was hitting all the lines, so it was hard. But I told myself to keep hanging in there and to fight, because you never know, there still might be a chance, she still has to win another set before she has the match. So I was just hanging in there and then I broke her, I just kept fighting. Maybe she made a little too many unforced errors in the second set to let me come into the second set and let me come into the match. That is when I felt I was getting a little closer and I raised my level a little bit.
Q: You only played her once last year. What did you learn from that, what could you apply to this match from it?
A: She played then like she did today in the first set. She played a whole match like this and if she is in the zone she hits all the lines and she hits winners of your first serve. Today I felt like I had to be a little bit more aggressive than then and I tried to let her run to open up the court a little bit. I think that is what I did different than then.
Q: She was also more defensive then.
A: That is what I had to do and in the beginning of the set I was letting her do all the tennis and I was the one who was running all the time, but in the second set I was trying to be a little bit more aggressive on her second serve, tried to let her run and tried to hit closer to the lines, and it worked.
Q: You are very strong at the moment and you have got potential. Do you think you might go to number 1 now?
A: No, not at all. I play tennis because I enjoy it. I donít really set goals, of course I do my best and I do my best 200% every match I play and every tournament I play. I know that when I will stop playing tennis that gave my best, and if Iím 3 or 1 or 2 or 8, Iíll know that I had fun and I did all that I could.
Q: You may not set it as a goal, but are you capable of it?
A: Itís hard to say. Itís not because I beat the no. 1 player now that Iíll be the next no. 1 player in the world. To be the no. 1 player of the world you have to have consistency and you have to be able to do it week in, week out. I think that is why we have Martina Hingis, because she has been the no. 1 for so long. Itís hard to be up there and to stay up there. But youíll never hear me say that I want to be become no. 1 or that Iíll be the next no. 1. Of course it would be nice, but if you do your best and if you have good results the higher ranking will come automatically.
Q: Is it for your kind of play better to play Venus on clay? The court at the US-Open last year was very fast.
A: No, if you saw the first set, I donít think it was a big advantage for me. It is definitely easier to try to break her once in a while, because her serve doesnít slide through as quick as it does on a grass court and a hard court. But on the other hand sheís got easier returns when she is returning, so itís a bit in the middle I think. I definitely had a better chance to beat her here today than I had last year at the US-Open.
Q: In your interrupted thank-you-speech at the end due to technical problems you also thanked that little club that was up top in the corner. Did you hear them?
A: Definitely, especially when you are down, those are the ones who try to get you up. You donít hear the rest, they are probably the only thing you hear. Also when I was winning, they were supporting me. They have been there the whole week, that was good. I got to know them a few days ago and I just met them before here again and I thanked them.
Q: Has Lleyton helped you this week?
A: I have been hitting with him a few times, but for the rest he was practising for his tournament in Rome. Weíll see if I helped him a little bit. Itís nice for me to be able to hit with him, because I always have good practice sessions with him. Itís impossible for me to hit a winner against him.
Q: Does this tournament give you confidence for Roland Garros?
A: Itís definitely a better start than I had last year. Last year I lost two first rounds before the French. This year Iím playing well. Also my first Fed Cup match this year was on clay and I played really well and that gave me confidence to come out here. Iíll definitely feel more comfortable to start at the French this year, but that doesnít mean anything, itís a different tournament. Tonight Iíll go to Berlin.
Q: How many times have you played that French Open final back in your mind?
A: We play so many tournaments that you donít actually get much time to think about it. But Iím looking forward to go back there and enjoy the whole feeling again.
Q: How much better are you one year later?
A: Well, I had more experience, thatís the thing. And Iíve been to a Grand Slam final. In my last Grand Slams Iíve done quarters and semis, so Iím capable to get to the second week and to the quarters and to the semis maybe. You never know, but I feel more comfortable. Iím used to being there and Iím used to the Grand Slam atmosphere.
Q: Is it more important to you to win a Grand Slam title or to be no. 1?
A: Anything would be nice. Iíve got no idea actually. Both.
Q: For which Grand Slam do you have a preference?
A: Any one is good. I have no idea, I mean, itís always nice to be no. 1, because people know you for being no. 1, but itís also nice to see your name on one of the trophies of the Grand Slam.
Q: Your parents are also connected to sports, I believe?
A: Yes, actually, my family had a pretty good week. My sister was playing a juniors tournament in Italy and she won yesterday, she won singles and doubles. My dad is actually coaching a soccer team, so he wasnít able to come to this trip, but he followed it on TV. My mum is driving back from Italy with my sister, so sheís been sending messages with my dad all the time.
Q: I read that you are perhaps going to Australia. There are even speculations that you are playing for Australia. Is that inaccurate?
A: Iíve never said that. Somebody misunderstood it or they changed the words a little bit. I did an interview during the Fed Cup during a rain delay with an Australian journalist, and the only thing she said was whether I would like to live in Australia. I said yes, when I stop playing tennis, because I love Australia, thatís all I said. Then I made a joke about the weather in Belgium. So I said I would like to live there but I never spoke about playing Fed Cup for Australia or changing my nationality. Iím proud to be Belgium.
Q: But how likely is it that you might actually live there?
A: Oh, Australia is a great country. The only thing that makes it hard is because it is so far away, about 30 hours flight. But every time I go to Australia I had so much fun. The people can live outside and they are so relaxed, I like that. So maybe one day Iíll move there. But Iím actually building a house in Belgium at the moment. So Iíll have two places.