Q. What were your first feelings when you came back into the arena?
JUSTINE HENIN: It's like a few things have changed on‑site, but generally the atmosphere is still the same. Not a lot of things have changed. It's a great feeling to be back.
Grand Slam is different. It's different feeling from what I lived in Brisbane, of course. It's different kind of atmosphere, and a lot of people. That takes a lot of energy. So need a few days to, you know, find the good rhythm and to find my place again.
But I feel it's my place to be here. That's already a great thing. And it was great to be on the Rod Laver Arena again and to hit on this magical court, to see all these people again, people that I didn't see for a long time. So it was interesting.
I was curious about what I was going to feel, but it's only positive things. Glad to be here really.
Q. Having had 19 months out to reestablish your sense of self, do you feel after a week back on the tour it's going to be difficult to keep that sense that you got of yourself off the tour?
JUSTINE HENIN: It's always the same problem: when you are far away, yeah, you take some distance, then when you come back you're into it very quickly.
But I don't think things are going to be the same as before because I learned a lot of things in the last 18 months, a lot of things on myself. I wouldn't say I've changed, but I probably grew up, and I realized that I was somebody except being only a tennis player, and this person is really important to me now.
So now I think that I'm going to be as engaged as I was before, focused, concentrate 200% on my job. I know there is something else. The distance I could take is going to help me, I hope. The experience I got in the last two years will help me to, yeah, be, you know, more calm and quiet and more mature in my life on the tour. I hope so.
Q. With you and Kim back, do you feel a feeling that Belgium is back in the ballgame?
JUSTINE HENIN: It's a great feel. With Yanina playing great in the last few months, Kim, Kirsten and me. I mean, Belgium, couldn't think it would happen again to have a Belgium final like last week. So it's a good feeling. I think now we realize how lucky we were to be both at the same time in the top for such a small country.
I think this time we probably going to enjoy it a little more than in the past.
Q. How would you assess your form at the moment? You had that strain to the glut. How would you assess your form?
JUSTINE HENIN: Well, I couldn't expect something better than what happened in Brisbane in terms of rhythm and intensity of the game. And I think that Kim pushed me to another level that I wasn't used to it anymore, of course. I think that is what I needed before coming here.
Of course, I would have preferred to go and play in Sydney, but physically I needed a few days to cover. My glut were painful. After three or four days, I was almost hundred percent. Then my left foot was a bit sore also.
I could practice, I would say normally, in the last three or four days. And I feel good in practice. Of course, competition is another thing. Especially in Grand Slams, a lot of things can happen. Every match is difficult.
But I feel like I'm still here to build my confidence again. And it will take probably a few weeks, maybe a few tournaments, maybe a few months, to really be at my top. Doesn't mean I cannot win matches. That's the attitude I got in Brisbane. You know, I was ready to live everything, but things, good things. It's been quite constructive.
I think I come with the same attitude here in Melbourne. Day after day we're going to see what's going to happen.
Q. You talk about building confidence. Were you surprised where you reached in Brisbane?
JUSTINE HENIN: Of course, I was a little surprised because you never know what to expect. I've been really focused on myself and the hard work I did on myself in the last five months. I've been working maybe harder than in the past. And I wanted to play. I had a lot of fun on the court and I really enjoy my game out there. So that was the most important thing.
And then match after match, I was in a better rhythm. It's been hard for a set and a half in the final against Kim, because the intensity was high. I needed a little time to get used to it. After that match I could feel in practice the last few days I could bring my intensity to another level. That match probably helped me.
I still need these kind of matches to put my game in another level, and physically I'm going to see how I'm going to react also in the next few weeks.
But, yeah, it's been a good surprise. But it's only the beginning and it's going to take ‑‑ you know, I don't plan my career on three or four weeks here in Australia; it's for the next few months and I hope next few years.
Q. How do you look at the competition in today's level? Now you have new players coming up like Caroline Wozniacki. How do you look at the competition now?
JUSTINE HENIN: It's still new for me, my comeback. It's only two weeks that I'm back on the tour. So it's still a bit early to talk about that because I couldn't see a lot of matches.
I mean, I just have to have the experience of the matches I had in Brisbane. But, of course, new faces, young players, but I don't know them enough to really give an opinion on that now. In a few weeks, I'll be probably more able to ‑‑ and I don't have to judge that. I come to do my best and to express hundred percent what I can give.
Doesn't matter the opponent in front of me. It's not gonna change from the past. But maybe in a few weeks we can talk a little more about that.
Q. In your very first match on this comeback, did your stomach sort of go round and round and you wondered if you could hit the ball over the net?
JUSTINE HENIN: I was quite excited but not that nervous ‑ not as nervous as what I could expect I would be. No, it was emotional. I mean, just the time I was going to walk on court, it was emotional. And I think the crowd gave me an unbelievable support in Brisbane. It was a great crowd.
Australian people, they know tennis. They have the culture of the sport. I think it was a great place to start again my second career. So it was a great feeling.
Of course, I could feel that still, I mean, a lot of things have to improve. But the attitude was positive. And it was more like I was excited. Patience is not my biggest quality, so it was good (smiling). http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2010-01-16/201001161263603971078.html