Clijsters In Comfort Zone As Mom
by Dana Hatic|
World No. 2 Kim Clijsters was among eight of the most competitive women in tennis who assembled today for an all-access media hour, where they shared thoughts, laughs and sentiments about the Sony Ericsson Open.
Defending champion Clijsters entered the tournament with a positive attitude, despite withdrawing from Indian Wells last week with a shoulder injury. The tour mom has her daughter, Jada, here in Miami, and spoke of how her role as a mother influences her approach to tennis.
“There are things that happen in life that make you realize: tennis, it’s a sport, it’s something that we started as a hobby and a lot of times still is. Being a mother has always been a life goal, it was like a dream I’ve always wanted to have,” she said.
Luckily, Clijsters has natural talent for her hobby and reclaimed the No. 1 WTA Rranking in February before Caroline Wozniacki regained the spot with a win in Dubai. Clijsters feels no pressure to take over that spot, however.
“It’s a number. I was happy and proud that I was able to achieve that a month ago in Paris. It’s not something that I’m focused on,” she said.
Clijsters has twice won this tournament (2010 and 2005), along with Victoria Azarenka (2009), who earned the eighth seed this year. “I like the atmosphere here,” said Azarenka, who said she was happy to be back in Miami. “It’s just a nice place, it’s very special for me.”
Azarenka faced a number of tough matches this year, including a loss to Clijsters at Sydney and a fourth-round match at the Australian Open, which she lost to Li Na (No. 7). She managed to find the positive side of the losses, however.
“I think you learn a lot more from difficult matches than you learn from easy ones. Especially from some of the losses, you can take a lot more learning experience. You just have to be open-minded and accept that you had mistakes. For me it was a very good point to get back a little bit and to review what I’m doing wrong,” she said.
Vera Zvonareva is happy to be back in Miami, with a third seeding and a WTA title win over Wozniacki under her belt.
“I’m giving 100% every day and I’m trying to work hard and to improve myself. I’ve had some good results here in the past, so I’m just enjoying the atmosphere, the environment, and just trying to bring the best out of myself every day,” she said.
“Attitude is a decision,” she said, repeating what she marked as one of the best lines of advice she has ever been given. “That’s all I’m trying to concentrate on, one day at a time.”
Zvonareva is seeded to meet the No. 4 seed, Francesca Schiavone, in the quarter-finals.
Schiavone is riding a year of success into the tournament, from her win at the 2010 French Open to a quarter-finals appearance at the Australian Open. She came in with some sage thoughts on being a Top 10 player.
“You have to be a great person, not just a great athlete. To say something and to do something is a big difference,” she said.
Schiavone talked about how she stays healthy amid the fervor of the tour: “Every day you have to take care of you. Often, we do everything in a rush. It’s important to take time for yourself.”
World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, fourth seed Samantha Stosur, No. 6 seed Jelena Jankovic and Australian Open finalist Li Na were also part of the all-access hour.
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