K. CLIJSTERS/J. Jankovic
Q. You, of course, have come from nowhere before when you came out of your retirement with little play and went on to win the US Open. Does a part of you think that you can come out of nowhere and take Wimbledon?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I believe that if I'm healthy and I'm playing my best tennis I believe that I can beat a lot of the top players here, but it's a matter of trying to achieve that every match.
So, you know, I don't think that far ahead. But of course I try to feel good and play good tennis every time I step out on the court, and then I'll take it one match at a time.
Q. You seemed almost relieved after winning.
KIM CLIJSTERS: I was definitely happy to have won, especially after my last two days after I left Rosmalen. There were definitely a few worries.
But then again, it's a great feeling when you work so hard towards something and then it pays off. You know, just for my trainer, for Sam, Carl, Stefan, for my team, it's nice to be able to share those kind of emotions. The victory on its own felt special tonight.
Q. Can you talk about the last 14 months?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I mean, there were definitely moments where it was hard and where I thought, Should I retire now? Maybe my body is saying it's enough and this second career has been good and maybe I should just accept that. But then again after a couple days I felt like, No, I want to do the rehab and refocus.
It gets tough, but after a while you try to learn to deal with those kind of emotions and you know that the injury will get better.
Unfortunately, when one injury got better, another popped up. That's probably been the most frustrating thing over the last 14 months is that I felt like I've had really good preparations after my rehabbing and preparing for my next few tournaments, and then towards the end something happens.
That's been the frustrating part, because I feel like tennis‑wise I've played some of my best tennis in the last year and a half or so. That's unfortunate, because I haven't been able to show that in tournaments.
Q. You've retired before. Coming back, it's a little bit more planned or thought out. Does it make it easier or harder when you come back to these places and the tournaments?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I think it's easier because I'm a little bit older and I understand the emotions better, I think, than many years ago. So I think in that way it's easier, but also probably a little bit more emotional.
I think the first time, you know, when I was ready to retire, I was convinced. I was like, Okay, that's it. Tennis is over. I think now this is definitely going to be it, so I take everything in. Whether I'm practicing on one of the practice courts out here, I look around and I take it in.
So it's more emotional, definitely, yeah.
Q. You faced some injuries this year. How important is it for your game winning in straight sets?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, it is important. I think the less energy and physical energy you can ‑‑ or the less you lose the better for your body, I mean, when it's the most necessary in the important matches, and to save every ounce of energy.
I'm not just talking about what happens on court, but it's also when you're home resting. I don't go walking up the hills here in Wimbledon to the store. Just saving all that energy for when I go out to my matches.
I still feel like I'm young and I want to do stuff, but in my head I know that I have to save all my energy and physically be ready for my matches.
Q. What kind of rehab did you have to do? Ultrasound?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I had some ultrasounds. Obviously I went to the hospital in Holland, and, yeah, there they saw a few things. After that I decided, Look, I'm not going to risk it from tearing any worse or getting worse.
When I saw my schedule, playing Monday, playing Jankovic, I was in a way relieved that I made that choice, although I felt in my heart, No, I want to play and I want to kind of want to finish this tournament.
And then rehab was a lot, a lot of ice, some antiinflammatory, laser, loosening up the whole diagonal chain from the left hip to the right shoulder, because that's all kind of connected with your left abdominal muscle.
Q. So it was a small tear?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah.
Q. Any discomfort today or not?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. Felt pretty good. I was taped in pretty well and it felt pretty good. Tomorrow I have another ultrasound. I'm going to just have it every other day. If I'm still in the tournament, I'm just going to have the ultrasound to see if it's not getting any worse.
Q. It was the women's match that everybody was looking forward to. It was a tough draw. How did you feel when you found out you were playing her?
KIM CLIJSTERS: On one hand was like, Whew, because she's tough. On the other hand, it was like, Yay, because I've had some of my funnest matches against Jelena, and they've always been very physical matches. In a way I was looking forward to it.
On the other hand, when I first saw the draw, I was like, Okay. But first I need to get better. I need to get my ab muscle better.
When I was walking out to Court 1 I was excited to play. I was ready. I knew it was going to be a tough one, and I had to be ready for it.
Q. Is it true you're not playing in between the Olympics and the US Open?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know yet.
Q. You haven't decided?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I haven't decided yet.
Q. You're looking at here, Olympics, US Open. Do you feel you need more matches going into New York?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know that yet now. I'm going to see how I feel. I am going to go to New York or to our house there a little bit early and practice there.
Yeah, whether I want to play a tournament, I think it's going to be kind of an at‑the‑moment decision. See if I can get a wild card, maybe.
Q. Is your family here with you? Is your daughter realizing it's your farewell tour?
KIM CLIJSTERS: She asked me this morning, Mama, do I also have to wear white? I was like, Oh, that was a first. Everybody in the house, we got our clothes and everybody was walking around in white at the house.
She was like, Mama, do I have to wear white, too? That was pretty funny this morning. She's at an age, four now, where she understands when we're all wearing white. I explained the tradition of Wimbledon, that it's mandatory to wear white. A few minutes later I explained for the Olympics it's not necessary.
I have a lot of nostalgic kind of emotions and feelings. When I get off the train station and I go to Wimbledon, it's a very special, special place for me. I live now with my own family, but I used to come here with my dad. It was just a very unique experience to live that with my dad, with my family back then. My sister came. My mom came when I was a junior.
I think, yeah, it's fun. It's a part of my childhood. It's nice to look back at those emotions again.
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