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January 11, 2008

Justine Henin


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Is that the perfect build up for the Australian Open, or would you have liked to play more matches?
JUSTINE HENIN: No, I think this was perfect. I was starting to feel much better today, because Sveta, she played a great match I thought. She was really intense and aggressive, didn't do so much mistakes and really pushed me in my limits tonight. That's the kind of match that I really needed before the Open, so I'm glad about that.

Q. You've won 28 matches in a row now, 16 against the world No. 2. Do you feel you're going into the Open almost unbeatable?
JUSTINE HENIN: I never get this feeling. That would be a big mistake because you have to start again every week. Little details make a big difference, and you need to be at your top all the time. In the Grand Slam it's long, it's high pressure, and it's seven matches.
You need to go step my step, so I'll be focus on my first round. It's going to be on Monday. Yeah, just go match after match of the. That is the most important thing for me.

Q. What does that sort of really close game like that do for you? Does it really make you feel you're exactly where you want to be?
JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, I think it's good. It's good to see that I could deal with the nerves tonight, because I was in a pretty bad situation in the third set. I remain calm and I play my best tennis at that time when I was under pressure.
Yeah, it was close, but it's the kind of match you have to win that gives confidence. Tactically did I some mistakes when I was losing today, and she was using a lot her forehand inside out, and she loves it.
So that was the wrong way to play. And then on when I decided to hit the ball harder and be more aggressive and play everywhere in the court, that helped me a lot to come back in the match.

Q. She told us she's worked on her forehand over the break. Did you notice an improvement?
JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, I think that she loves to play the forehand on her backhand side. When she tried to use her forehand that side. But she is really a complete player and a great player. I could feel she worked very hard because she was in great shape this week, and that means she's going to have a lot of motivation and one of favorites for the Open.

Q. You had to sticky tape the skirt up?
JUSTINE HENIN: Sorry? No, no, yeah, it was just my shirt. I had a problem in the back. It was quite funny. That was good for the atmosphere.

Q. Nine double faults. Was that the nerves?
JUSTINE HENIN: Well, it's like I worked very hard on my serve in the last few weeks, and it means it's not really very natural. I know that's the shot that I have to work the most because that's the hardest for me is my serve.
I'm not worried about that. I know that match after match it will be better, and when I had to serve well I did it. You can look at it that way. I take a lot of risk and I have a very good second serve, and I need to accept that I can make -- nine is a lot, but I need it accept that I can make a few double faults.

Q. Are you feeling physically strong?
JUSTINE HENIN: I felt great, in good shape. I was feeling better and better, even better in the third, so that's a good sign. You need sometime to get in a good rhythm and get used to the conditions, and I felt much better at the end of the match, so that was good.

Q. Do you fear anybody in Melbourne? Do you feel that anyone is getting bit closer to you?
JUSTINE HENIN: Well, I think that I'm going to be focus on myself. I don't know too much about the other players. I just concerned about what I'm going to do, try to build my game and my confidence and win every match I have to play.
That's going to be the goal, and I'll give my best. The Grand Slams are my goals for sure this year with the Olympic games.
I left Melbourne with a pretty bad feeling two years ago, so I'm glad to go back, and I hope I can be at my best level.

Q. You said you worked on your serve in the off-season. Just make adjustments from last year or are you working on something completely new?
JUSTINE HENIN: No, it's just adjustments. I just try to improve. It's good. I want to be a better player. Even if I'm No. 1 I want to improve and that's very good. But you need to accept that sometimes you come through pretty difficult times. It was tough, but slowly but surely it's going to be better.
When I had to serve well today I did it on the important points, and it was also the key of the match.

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