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January 23, 2004

Justine Henin


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Justine, please.

Q. Justine, tell us about your match then?

JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Well, it's been a good fight, you know. In the second set, it's this kind of match that I like to play very early in the tournament. I played a good first set. I started the match pretty well. End of second set I was playing a little bit too short, especially in her best shot, which was the forehand. She was in the court, she had nothing to lose, putting on me a lot of pressure. I just had to keep fighting until the end of the match. You know, when I had to, I played well in the important points. I'm pretty happy because she's a tough opponent. I won in two sets. Like I said, it's great to have this kind of match in the third round because I knew that, before going on court, I had to be 100 percent if I wanted to win. So I was feeling much better on the court. That was good match.

Q. Kim won 0-0. You had more of a struggle. Would you rather have the match you had or the 0-0 match?

JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: I mean, this kind of matches that I got in the first two rounds, they don't help me too much, you know, to improve my game. Today I knew it could be a really tough match and I knew that she could win this match, too. So I was careful about this and I was totally focus on my game. So that's great. I mean, physically it's good to have this kind of matches I got in the first round. But, I mean, we are in a Grand Slam. Everybody's playing well. You have to play your best tennis if you want to keep going.

Q. Amelie won today pretty easily. She's only lost six games in three matches. Can you talk about her game. You played her in The Championships, you played her last week.

JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: She's playing great tennis right now. We can see she's in confidence since a couple of months ago already. She's playing great tennis, you know, very aggressive, a very good attitude. You know this type of game that's not very usual, you know, on the tour. So like me a little bit. No, Amelie, she's a friend of mine. We have great relationship. She's very nice person. I think that this year she's gonna be probably more consistent than she was in the past because she looks much more focused now and she's playing really good right now. So she's a player who can win this tournament, for sure.

Q. She talks about being No. 1. Most players don't really talk about that. What do you think about that?

JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: You know, for myself it was a goal for sure, being No. 1 one day. That's something that you dream all your life. When you achieve that, that's great. But when I became No. 1, I realized that doesn't change a lot of things in your life. I mean, you still same person. You going in every tournament just to try to make your job the best as you can. And if you can reach this goal, that's great. But it's not everything.

Q. Brad Gilbert has been reported saying he didn't believe the world's No. 1 woman would be 1,000 of the best male tennis players. Do you think those sorts of comments are helpful to women's tennis?

JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: You know, to be honest, I don't care too much about this because we not here to compare men's tennis and women's tennis. It's totally different. Our bodies are totally different. It's very hard to compare so I don't want to comment this much more.

Q. Did this match show you today that there's anything in particular that you have to work on?

JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Yeah, I think that, you know, I need to be a little bit more in the court and being a little bit more aggressive than I was today. Maybe I was waiting a little too much for mistakes and they didn't come in the second. So I was maybe a little bit too far from my baseline. You know, I have to put a lot of pressure on my opponents. That's the way I played last year, and that's the way I have to play if I want to keep going. So, no, going a little more to the net, and I have to work on this part of my game. That's what we did in the last few weeks. But when you nervous a little bit, it's a little bit harder to do.

Q. What does it mean for you to know that Serena is not in the tournament? Maybe this is the first Slam you are really the favorite of the tournament?

JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: For sure, I accept the situation. I don't see myself as the biggest favorite of the tournament. My best result here was a semifinal last year, and I know that other players are in great confidence right now, playing great tennis. You know, Serena is not here. I mean, that's bad for her and for everybody. That's really sad. We just try to make this competition at a high level of tennis, and I think that a lot of players can win here. So I just go on the court and try to do my best.

End of FastScripts….

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