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Saturday, September 4, 1999

S. WILLIAMS vs K. Clijsters

4-6, 6-2, 7-5

Q. What was going through your mind after you hit that great overhead to make it 5-3 in the third set?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, at the moment I knew I could win, 5-3 up, when I was serving. I think that was -- I think I was too close to win. I was a little bit scared, I think. I think it's also the experience. She has more experience than I have. I learned a new lesson out of this match, so yeah.

Q. Is that one of the best matches you've ever played?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, probably it is. I didn't think my best level like through all the match, like ups-and-downs. But, yeah. In Wimbledon I played good, as well. I'm satisfied.

Q. Did playing Steffi Graf at the fourth round in Wimbledon, did that help you get prepared?

KIM CLIJSTERS: That was a good lesson for me, especially the first time when I played her on a big court, Court No. 1 in Wimbledon, against a seeded player. Yeah, that was an experience for me. I came on the court there.

Q. Were you intimidated at all playing a seed?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, not this time. The first time, like Steffi Graf, she's like a bigger star than Serena. No, I was not really.

Q. How old were you when you first started to play tennis?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I was five.

Q. How did you happen to get into the game?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Because of my cousins. They started with tennis. That's where I started to put the balls up on my racquet, yeah.

Q. When you were serving at 5-3, I got the feeling you were rushing. You didn't seem to take much time.

KIM CLIJSTERS: I'm always rushing (laughter).

Q. That's the way you play?


Q. Do you think you might take it a little slower next time?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Probably I will, yeah.

Q. Do you feel like at that point it was something that you were doing or was it something that Serena was doing that led to what happened? I think she got 16 of the next 17 points.

KIM CLIJSTERS: She returned good. She played two very good games there. My serve, I had to put more first serves in at 5-3. At 5-4, yeah, she had these two aces. Yeah, she served good like the third serve, it was not bad. I couldn't do anything about that game. On my serve, I should have put more serves in, definitely.

Q. Were you nervous at the end when you were serving?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Not really. I was not really nervous, no. I was like, I think, more like pushing myself, I think. "Okay, now you have to do it." Maybe it was a little bit of pressure on me, putting on myself. I shouldn't have done that, I think.

Q. You're not going to play in the junior competition here next week, are you?


Q. That ball that you thought was long, you let it go, replay shows it on the line, is that a mistake, next time you won't let it go?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No. Next time I will hit it for sure. There were a couple wrong calls during the match for both of us. Yeah, that was a mistake.

Q. Did you have a plan for this match, how you would play it?

KIM CLIJSTERS: I was just going to play my own game. I think that was the only way. I'm not such a player to play slice and all this stuff, to change my game. I was just like playing my game.

Q. What have you learned from this match?

KIM CLIJSTERS: A lot. Yeah, it's experience for me. I'm close. Against Coetzer, she was also Top 10, so I feel like I'm close to Serena also. I'm close to them. Yeah, that's a good lesson for me.

Q. Have you had a timetable that you wanted to fulfill in becoming a champion of these Grand Slam events? Do you have anything like that?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No, not really.

Q. A goal that you want to realize within a certain period?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No. I like to see it match per match. I think -- for me, that's the way I have to keep on playing. There will be ups-and-downs in the career. You have to go through them.

Q. Is there a specific aspect of your game that you want to improve on the most?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Probably now I will work on -- harder on my serve, keep more serves in in the critical moments. I think for the rest, I played quite a good match today. Of course, I always can improve. I'm not saying that I'm not going to work on anything else anymore, of course. Yeah, like serves and then physical training, all this stuff.