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January 19, 2004

Justine Henin


THE MODERATOR: English questions, please.

Q. Was that what you call a perfect workout in the first match?

JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: It's good to have this kind of match when it's hot like this, you know, conditions are really hot in here. I came from Sydney on Saturday night and had to play today, so it's not easy. I didn't have a lot of rest, but I'm feeling good anyway. I mean, that's a good start. I played well last week, gave me a lot of confident. So, yeah, pretty happy to stay very short on the court for a first match.

Q. Would you agree that you're the nearly overwhelming favorite to win this tournament?

JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: I don't consider myself as the biggest favorite here in this tournament because you have many other players who can win the tournament. I just see myself like a player who's coming to give her best, and that's what I'm gonna try to do in every match. My next goal is gonna be my next round, you know. The pressure is there, but it was there also last year when I was in the Top 5. Now it's different because a lot of people are waiting for myself. But I just try to stay concentrate on what I have to do, winning a lot of matches. And it's gonna be good. So many players can win this tournament. It's still very early to talk about next week.

Q. How important is the experience of having won a Grand Slam when you come in, you know how to pace yourself and how to not take things too soon?

JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Yeah, I'm very surprised about the way I'm feeling right now and the experience I got from the two victories last year in Grand Slam. You know, it give me a lot of confidence. Even if I am not playing my best tennis, you know, during the practices. So I just stay very calm because I know that on the court, during the competition, everything is very different. So, you know, I just try to, like I said, to be focus on my game, you know, to improve my game. That's what I did, you know, in the last few weeks and during my preparation in Florida. So I'm feeling very good right now. Like I said, my win at Sydney gave me a lot of confidence. It was the first tournament where I was No. 1 player in the world, so that's not easy to deal with. But that was pretty good. I'm very excited about playing again in Australia this year.

End of FastScripts….

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