July 5, 2001
MODERATOR: Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. Questions, please.
Q. Are you surprised you've gone this far?
JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, for sure I'm surprised because, you know, when it's 6-2, 2-1, and when you are so nervous, when Capriati played so well in the first, you don't think you can win the match like that. After that I came back because I stayed very, very cool. I said, "Okay, what's going to happen? We'll see what's going to happen." I just tried to play a better game than I did in the first. After that, was so good. For me, it was unbelievable to win like that.
Q. In Paris when you lost to Kim, you said you got very nervous, partly that was the reason. What did you do differently? Had you worked on anything?
JUSTINE HENIN: You know, it's difficult to play on a centre that you don't know. Was the first time here for me in Wimbledon. I think it's a really, really big stadium to play here. I think that that was so difficult for me. At the beginning, I was nervous, I didn't know the court. I think the bounce was different also from the Court 1. So everything changed. She played so fast in the first. So was difficult to find the way that I could win. But I think that when I had the possibility to win the match, I did different from the French, for sure.
Q. You said when you lost in Paris that it was mental. What had happened between Paris and now mentally?
JUSTINE HENIN: It's mentally today my victory. I think it's a big victory for me mentally. I think just after the French, I only took two days of rest because I wanted to work very hard because I knew that I could win the semifinal in the French. I said, "Okay, next time I will take this opportunity." I won in Rosmalen. I played so well here. Here I'm still in the tournament, and I am in the final. Yeah, mentally I'm stronger than in Paris.
Q. Obviously winning two Slams, she was the big favourite for many people here. Did you come into the match thinking you could beat her, knowing you could beat her, or did you play it out?
JUSTINE HENIN: No, I knew in the match I could win against Capriati. In Berlin, we were in the third set, and I had to stop for my ankle. Yeah, I said, "Okay, I have my chances." But I knew that she already won two Grand Slams this year. She wanted Wimbledon. She was playing so well in this tournament. So I think that she's a strong player, very, very aggressive. So in the match, I couldn't think that I could win when it was 6-2, 2-1. But when I came back, when I broke her in the second, I said, "Okay, maybe you have a chance."
Q. What is it about your game that makes it so difficult for her?
JUSTINE HENIN: I think in the second set maybe I tried to be more patient, and I played a lot with my slice, and she didn't like it. After that, I was more aggressive than her. I went to the net; I served better. I think she doesn't like play against me because I try to stay in the court and be aggressive. So I know that she doesn't like this game.
Q. In the final, you'll get probably Venus, although Lindsay is hanging in there. You haven't beaten either one of them.
JUSTINE HENIN: I beat already Venus Williams.
Q. I'm sorry.
JUSTINE HENIN: That's okay. This year in Berlin.
Q. Could you discuss what it would be like playing each one and what you'd have to do.
JUSTINE HENIN: Oh, what's the score now?
Q. Lindsay is serving to tie the second at 4.
JUSTINE HENIN: If it's one or the other, it will be a difficult and tough match for me, like Capriati, a strong player. I think Davenport played so well in this tournament, and Venus won last year. She's playing well on grass court. When everything is in, it's difficult to play against her. But I think if I could win -- if I won against Capriati, maybe I can beat also Venus Williams or Lindsay Davenport. I think that now I have all my chances to win this tournament. I believe it. I will just try to do my best and enjoy on the court like I did in the second and third set today, and we will see.
Q. Can you tell us about the blisters? Are they on your right foot?
JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, it's on my right foot. It's really painful. It's horrible. It was difficult at the beginning. I couldn't move very well. After the changeover, it was a little bit better when I saw the trainer. But I think, you know, it's not dangerous, but it's very sore, it's a big painful. After that, I had a lot of courage to continue. I played better because I didn't think about my blister after that. I said, "I'm in the semis, go and try. Don't feel the pain."
Q. Is it getting better?
JUSTINE HENIN: No, it's getting worst (sic), for sure. When you continue to play on a blister like this, for sure it's getting worst. Tomorrow I have a day off, without practice, like yesterday. I will be okay in two days. When you are in the final of a Grand Slam, you give everything that you have.
Q. For the people who don't really know you that well, can you tell us about your family?
MODERATOR: Justine won't answer questions on her family. We'll just keep it to tennis.
Q. Were you close to withdrawing at that point, with the blister?
JUSTINE HENIN: Before the match, no, for sure.
Q. During the match?
JUSTINE HENIN: During the match maybe. Maybe at the beginning of the second set, because it was getting worst and worst. It was time for me to call the trainer. But I did a little bit too late. After the changeover, she change a little bit my tape. It was better. I kept the pain. But, you know, when I broke her in the second, I said, "Give everything that you have and go until the end of the match, if I win or if I lose."
Q. Could you say something about your coach, Carlos Rodriguez?
JUSTINE HENIN: We're working from five years together now. I was 14 when I started with him. If I did not have Carlos, I'm not here today because I think that he's a coach, he's a friend, he is everything for me. I can talk with him about personal life or tennis life. I think he knows what to say to me for myself.
Q. Could you tell us a little about your tennis background, how you got interested in it, how you developed in the sport?
JUSTINE HENIN: I think, you know, I started playing tennis at five. I always knew that I wanted to be a top player. But it was a dream. Now it should be step by step a reality. So, yeah, everything change for me. My life change a lot. But I think I always give all my best to be a champion in tennis sport.
Q. Did you go to the French Open when you were ten with your mom?
JUSTINE HENIN: Yes.
Q. Told her you were going to be out there someday?
JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah.
Q. How much have you had to adapt your game, if at all, for grass? Would you like there to be the extra week between the French Open and Wimbledon in order to prepare better?
JUSTINE HENIN: I practice on synthetic, not on really grass court, in Belgium before going to Rosmalen. I won tournament in Rosmalen, so that was easier for me to come here with four matches. I think that I like grass court. Last year I lost first round because it was my second tournament after my injuries. This year, finally I could play all the matches without any problems. So I think I have a good game to play on grass. I'm an aggressive player. The ball is not so high, so maybe that's easier for me. I can move very well on the court. I'm a quick player, so that's good.
Q. Would you like the extra week?
JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, for sure.
Q. You seem to play the same way on grass as you play on hard and clay. Are you doing anything differently because it's grass?
JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, for sure. I think different because I play on grass. You know, I'm not afraid to do serve and volley, to slice a little bit more, to be aggressive and go to the net. Today at the end of the second set, I was really aggressive on my serve, on my return. So I think that it's a lot different from hard or clay court. But it's nice to play on every surface and do good results everywhere.
Q. What does it mean to you to be in a Wimbledon final?
JUSTINE HENIN: Oh, it means a lot. You can't imagine what it means for me, to be in the final of a Grand Slam. I think for me that's unbelievable. Just after the French, after my semis over there, I had a big reaction, a great reaction. Now I'm in the final of Wimbledon. I think that's not a dream, but that's something that I couldn't imagine when I came in Wimbledon this year.
Q. Can you talk about who you looked up to as players when you were younger? You've said that Steffi Graf?
JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, Steffi Graf and Stefan Edberg. Good grass court players.
Q. Did you always have the great one-handed backhand or did you have to switch?
JUSTINE HENIN: No, I always had one-hand backhand.
Q. Did you have any nicknames growing up related to your size or anything?
JUSTINE HENIN: No. I don't mind about my size. Today I proved that we don't have to be very strong to win matches. I don't mind about that.
Q. Have you had any reaction already, but what do you think is happening in Belgium?
JUSTINE HENIN: I suppose that unbelievable in Belgium. I don't want to have any contacts with Belgium now because, you know, I have an important match on Saturday. After that, for sure, when I will go back to Belgium, I will feel it a lot. I know, and I am so happy for Belgian people also.
Q. No messages yet?
JUSTINE HENIN: Maybe to my coach, but not to me because I had a lot of things to do just after my match. For sure I think that this evening I will get a lot of message. But I try to be focused on the tournament and stay focused on the next match.
Q. Is your backhand something that came naturally? Did it come out of the blue, natural stroke?
JUSTINE HENIN: Natural. I never worked on it. Just like that.
Q. Can you talk about your attitude on big points?
JUSTINE HENIN: I think maybe that's why I'm stronger now in my head. I played so good on the important points. When I had to break her, I did a lot of good returns. I don't know. I was really positive. I played bad in the first, but I stayed positive. That's why maybe I came back. But that's true, when I had to go, I wasn't afraid to win this match.
Q. Do you remember your match with Boogert? It was a nightmare or what?
JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, for sure. I remember this. You know, I was two games to be out of the tournament, and now I am in the final. I think it's tennis. Kuerten, he had match points against him in the French, so I hope that will be the same here for me in Wimbledon.
Q. When you see some of these enormous figures on the other side of the net, is your attitude, "The bigger they are, the harder they fall"?
JUSTINE HENIN: For sure. I just want to win. I have a good attitude. If I play against a strong player, I just want to go. I'm not afraid of the size. I play already against Davenport, Williams, Capriati, everybody. I think I don't mind about this kind of players because I can move well on the court, I'm so fast. I can also be a strong player when I want.
Q. Did you think about Paris finals with Clijsters?
JUSTINE HENIN: No, I didn't think about that at all. It was my match today. The French Open is far away from here now. Now I'm in Wimbledon. I just want not to forget that. But it was an experience, and now I continue.
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