Author Topic: JUSTINE HENIN THREAD - PICTURES, NEWS, ETC.........  (Read 28782 times)

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Offline candy888

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« Reply #40 on: December 29, 2009, 05:15:38 AM »
some wonderful plots about her                :gleam:

Offline HarryWild

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« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2010, 10:41:19 PM »
Shown below is Justine at the Brisbane International tennis tournament, in Brisbane on January 8, 2010.

Justine has change her style to become more aggressive!  No longer a baseliner but now a more
aggressive attacking player that will and seek to come up to the net and finish points at the net!
Justine has been also working on a more speedy serve which can now reach up the mid 130s mph. 
Before it was only in the low 120s at best.  God help those who face her now!  Plus she is more
mentally tough/attitude then before.  Talking about the win from behind trademark of Justine -
she will just finish it in two sets - thank you.

Offline HarryWild

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« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2010, 12:12:25 AM »

Justine signing away!

Offline HarryWild

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« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2010, 10:31:16 PM »

Kim Clijsters saved two match points and wasted three before defeating Justine Henin, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (6), in the final in Brisbane.   This is Justine first tournament and she came close to winning but no win.  Clijster just to match tough!  Cannot wait to see her in the Australian Open.  Since she is a wild card; she will play a top 10 player.  Knowing her defeat at Brisbane; her first round opponent will "really have a good time" with Justine.  
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 02:35:25 AM by HarryWild »

Offline Dallas

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« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2010, 12:02:12 PM »
Here is justine practicing at the AO (ok...Roger's first, but keep watching, after Roger's practice, there is Justine):

[youtube] [/youtube]

Offline HarryWild

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« Reply #45 on: January 20, 2010, 01:34:59 PM »

Justine Henin def. E.Dementieva at Rod Laver Arena   7-5    7-6 (5)           
Justine had matchpoint in the second set but could not execute the point.   

Unranked Justine Henin celebrates her second round match win against No. 5 ranked Elena Dementieva
at the 2010 Australian Open.
Photo by: Getty Images/William West

A very gritty match where Elena was on fire!  Fighting tooth to tooth for each point!  Each gave it
their all!

« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 01:40:45 PM by HarryWild »

Offline falcon

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« Reply #46 on: January 20, 2010, 08:04:17 PM »
Finally women's tennis..... :))
The drag of destiny destroys the reins of reason

Offline Monky

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« Reply #47 on: January 21, 2010, 12:46:40 AM »
hooray don't have to use babbs thread anymore! :)~

goodness what a match yesterday. would have liked to see some better serving, but such high quality after that. we are so fortunate to have her back and so is the wta

Offline HarryWild

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« Reply #48 on: January 21, 2010, 04:04:45 AM »

Justine interview transcript about her match in the 2nd round with Elena:

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Normally there is an applause for the winner of the tournament, but maybe tonight you deserve it.

JUSTINE HENIN: Well, it was a great match. It was very emotional for me on the court at the end because there was so much intensity. To play this kind of match in the second round, for me, after two years off in a Grand Slam, it's just the kind of situation that I needed.

The crowd gave me so much. So respectful at the end. It was a special night tonight. That's why I probably came back on the tour, was to live this kind of matches.

Q. Was it also a special forehand, the one you missed in match point?

JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, I think it's there that we can see that I miss the competition a little bit. When I missed that, when she came back to 5‑All, I thought about Brisbane and the opportunities I got over there. Already playing well, and got the opportunity to finish the match and I couldn't, because my nerves wasn't probably solid enough.

And today I thought it was going to happen again. I really thought in the tiebreak I wouldn't be strong enough. And when I got the opportunities, and the way I finished on serve and volley, I mean, it was the best I could dream of.

I felt, All right, let's go for it. It was brief. But that's what I needed. I was almost cramping at the time. Physically I was a bit exhausted at the end so it was the good thing to do.

Q. In such a tight match, what was perhaps the difference between the two of you?

JUSTINE HENIN: You know, we both fought very hard. It was great fight. I think maybe my game at the net. Maybe I took the opportunities a little more, you know, attacking. It was the key. I mean, both of us, we tried to hit the ball very hard, long.

I've been able to play a lot down the line, which I think was a little of a surprise for her. She doesn't like it that much. But she tried to do the same thing. So there was a big fight.

But we both have been pretty solid. And I think maybe the difference was just at the end, you know, to play well on the important points. When I had to save the set point in the tiebreak, I had to be really aggressive and attacking the ball. And I think that made maybe on a few points, but important points, the difference.

Q. Is your problem now going to be recovery?

JUSTINE HENIN: Of course, yeah. Of course. And I don't have any answer now how I'm going to recover in the next 36 hours or so. Well, I'm feeling very happy tonight. Of course, we're going to work a lot now on the recovery, a lot of image, drinking a lot, just trying to get ready. Everything's going to be bonus for me.

Even if I have ambition to go as far in the tournament, today was important for me to win in the tournament because it was my first top‑10 player and I needed that match to get a little bit of confidence and to feel that I'm really back.

Even if I'm not feeling yet at my best level, that I can improve a lot with the intensity and concentration, especially, I'll need more tournaments for that. But I'm glad about what I'm doing here, of course.

Q. Talking about little bit of confidence. Don't you have much now?

JUSTINE HENIN: Well, now, of course, it's great feeling. It's magical to win this kind of match in this kind of atmosphere. Yeah, I'm concerned about tomorrow, when I'm going to wake up, how I'm going to feel. I said the other day I wasn't feeling old. Well, I'll see tomorrow morning (smiling).

Q. Do you feel now you basically can match it with everyone out there?

JUSTINE HENIN: It's difficult to say because, I mean, today I've been able to compete. I've been able to compete against Kim in Brisbane. If we talk about consistent in a whole Grand Slam, well, I don't have any answer now.

I just try to enjoy my game out there. I think I'm already at an amazing level for not having played 18 months, and the draw was pretty tough. But it's the kind of thing I need for my confidence. Now we'll see.

I go step by step. Every match is a bonus that I can play here in Melbourne. If I stay healthy, that's the main important thing.

Q. How are you handling the expectation everyone has on you at the moment?

JUSTINE HENIN: Well, there are expectations. In another way everyone knows also I need competition to really come back at a very good level. What I showed is that I'm still probably a real fighter. But I'll need more time to feel really comfortable and play well on the important points and to be able to make the difference.

But the way is still very long for me. I feel it. Even if people are expecting things, I don't feel that pressure that much at the moment. I knew I could win. But when you don't play for 18 months, you come back, you beat one of the best player in the world, I mean, you just go for it, and that's what I did.

Q. You lost a match with Kim having match points. When tonight you missed the match point, you were down 3‑1 in the tiebreak, you had probably cramping.

JUSTINE HENIN: Almost cramping.

Q. What were you thinking? Again?

JUSTINE HENIN: Yes, I thought when I missed that match point, when I was down in the tiebreak, I was feeling, Well, it's going to be the same kind of situation. But mentally I just tried to stay focused on every point because I knew it was going to be a hard third set. It was already 2 hours and 45 minutes I think or so. So I was ready to give everything in that tiebreak, and that's what I did.

But, of course, that match in Brisbane, it would have been hard for me to lose that way today because I played a very good tennis. It's just that you have to make the difference when you have to. Finally I could make it at the end of the tiebreak. So that's a good thing for me.

Q. Did you have a third set in you if you needed it?

JUSTINE HENIN: Well, I would have played third set, of course. But what's going to happen? I mean, I think Elena was tired, too. Physically and mentally was also difficult. No, don't think about the third set. I prefer not thinking about that.

Q. Can you remember ever playing a second‑round Grand Slam match like this one?

JUSTINE HENIN: I mean, not a second round. I don't think so. Maybe I had difficult matches, winning three sets. Probably it happened to me in the past. But not playing a top like that.

I mean, Davenport I think in 1999 at the French Open, it was 7‑5 in the third. It was my first French Open. And I think it was the second round. But I was 17 years old at that time, so. 10 years later it's a different kind of story.

Q. Any parts of your game that didn't go as you wanted?

JUSTINE HENIN: Well, I've been struggling with my serve, with my toss. Lost a little bit of confidence in the last few days on that. It means that I still have to fix that. It's been ups and downs. Especially I did a couple of double‑faults especially at the beginning of the match.

But, no, generally I was happy that I took the opportunities and went a lot to the net. Mistakes, but a lot of winners also. And I think that made the difference, that I've been moving forward a lot. So that was a good thing for me.

Offline falcon

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« Reply #49 on: January 21, 2010, 04:14:20 AM »
"I was happy that I took the opportunities and went a lot to the net. Mistakes, but a lot of winners also. And I think that made the difference, that I've been moving forward a lot. So that was a good thing for me."

 :))  Allez!!
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Offline HarryWild

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« Reply #50 on: January 22, 2010, 06:41:16 PM »

Jusinte Henin after defeating the 27th-seeded Alisa Kleybanonva 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Henin was just one point away from being a set and 4-1 down but broke back
in fifth game to get herself back in the match.

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Are you proud of your comeback in today's match?

JUSTINE HENIN: I'm happy I'm in the fourth round. I kind of survived a little bit today.

But, no, it's always good to win this kind of match because I came back from nowhere. It was so difficult for me after last match. Physically I suffered a little bit in the last two days. I wasn't feeling the energy enough to be able to compete at my level.

I've been patient. Slowly but surely it was better. And she was dangerous because, I mean, when you need the rhythm, especially because physically you're not feeling well. She put a lot of pressure serving well. That wasn't the kind of game that would help me come into the match. But finally I did it.

So I'm very happy that I'm still in the tournament, that I have another chance to get better in the next round.

Q. From the position you were in, was the outcome more down to you or to your opponent?

JUSTINE HENIN: Well, I wasn't at my level, of course. And she was doing a great job. But I wasn't able to put the pressure on her and to take the opportunities and to be consistent. It was hard for me to move. It was hard for me to, yeah, just like I said, find the energy.

But she was doing a very good job at that time. Then I just tried to wait for the opportunities. She started to serve not that good at the end of the second set. I took my chances. In the third, it was much better. Was able to, yeah, express myself a little bit more.

Q. Was it just tiredness from the previous game or is there anything specifically physically you were feeling body‑wise?

JUSTINE HENIN: Well, I face, yeah, a few issues. And my body suffered a lot. It's not used to it anymore. I didn't have 48 hours. It's been quite short to recover. Not enough slept. I slept terribly. I was in bed at 2 when I beat Dementieva. I slept five hours. Not that much last night.

When I woke up this morning, I felt it's going to be tough today because I'm tired. I'm happy. I'm sure I'll have time enough to recover and feel much better in two days than today.

I was ready for a tough match. I was ready mentally, emotionally and physically it would be difficult. I have a bit of inflammation in my leg. I hope it's not going to get worse in the next 48 hours. I think it's generally I need to recover from that. I'm pretty positive these two days I have are going to help me now.

Q. After the Brisbane final, you told us about your leg. Are you a bit nervous that your body will hold together for a few more matches?

JUSTINE HENIN: Well, I decided to be really positive. I'm sure it will be okay. No, of course, now I feel that even physically I'm ready. Competition is just another story. I mean, that kind of match against Dementieva with this intensity. The match against Kim, that takes a few days to completely recover.

Fortunately today it hasn't been that physical on the court. Even if the match was pretty long, it hasn't been like very long rallies. It's just my reactions were pretty slow. Yeah, the way I was feeling generally that I was quite slow on the court.

But, no, I mean, challenge now is to recover, get better. I mean, if we talk about long‑term, I know my body is going to be fine. These few weeks, it's matches at a top level. After almost two years off, it's normal that it takes a little bit to really get used to it physically, that the muscles are in good shape enough.

Q. You faced a few challenges in your TV show. Is coming back to Grand Slam tennis the biggest challenge you've ever faced?

JUSTINE HENIN: It's different to be in a Grand Slam. When I was in Brisbane, it was a different atmosphere. Coming here in Melbourne after one tournament, being in a Grand Slam, it's not the easiest part. But it's also almost the most exciting.

So it's a big challenge to come back. And I think I love challenges. That's the way I am. I cannot live like normally. I need always to push myself and to push the limits back. And I feel, again, that, well, I'm very proud of what I'm doing right now. I enjoy my game out there. That's the most important thing.

Q. Are you impressed about some of the other players in the tournament? If you could say something about Caroline Wozniacki.

JUSTINE HENIN: You know what, I never saw her playing, not even a point. So it's very hard. I didn't watch any tennis since I retired. And I didn't watch the US Open final neither. So it's very hard for me.

I know she's young and very good player, that she proved it already. But that's all I know.

Q. Faced a Belgian in the first round. Wickmayer won. You may face Kim in the quarterfinals. Are you pushing soccer off the back page at home?

JUSTINE HENIN: It's special that we all in the same part of ‑‑ same quarter. It's pretty strange, pretty crazy. But it's the way the draw is. I've never played Yanina in the past. When I retired, she was just coming.

But she proved with her results last year that she is in top form. Again, this week she's fighting a lot. So I know it's going to be a tough match for myself. Yeah, it's a bit disappointing that we're all in the same part, of course. In another way, Belgian tennis proves that we are back, and that's a very good feeling.

Q. Are you playing Fed Cup?

JUSTINE HENIN: Not in February. Maybe in the future, but not the next match.

Q. At this point in your comeback, with the tournament here, also earlier this month, are you most concerned with how you're recovering mentally or how you're recovering physically?

JUSTINE HENIN: I'm not really concerned about that. I know it's going to be fine. I mean, I feel mentally and emotionally pretty fresh. But it's just I have to deal with, you know, the tight situations like two days ago. It's not in a tournament. What I do after such a long time off is just amazing. I know it's gonna take a while just to find a lot of stability and some consistency.

Physically I know it's going to be the same thing. I know my body is going to be fine. But I need more time.

Q. You talked the other day about feeling nerves at the end of the Dementieva match. When you were down 3‑1, were you more relaxed today?

JUSTINE HENIN: I just tried to stay calm. I just tried to, you know, wait for that things were going better, and that paid. That was the most important thing. If you get crazy at that time, I mean... I just tried to play point after point, be focused on every moment, even if it's not easy.

Proved again that that's probably a good attitude to have. But sometimes it's okay, and sometimes you lose. But today I feel like I'm very happy to be in the tournament, to have another opportunity to play another match.

It's been more than what I could expect when I arrive in Australia. Now, even if I have the ambition to go further and win every match that I'll play, everything's bonus for me.

Q. Is there a story behind the new diamond ring you have on?

JUSTINE HENIN: Well, it's not coming from a lover, if that's the question (laughter).

Q. Is it just something you've treated yourself with?

JUSTINE HENIN: It's a gift from a friend. But nothing else, yeah (smiling). I was surprised the question didn't come earlier actually.

Q. For the reasons you've already covered with your body, the short turnaround, are you having to ask yourself physically to do something you've never done before?

JUSTINE HENIN: More treatments. I'm lucky I have my trainer with me. So that's a good thing because we can go back in the hotel, work a lot. We worked more than four hours yesterday on my body. It's a lot, of course. But my body needs it.

For the rest, you know, there are no secrets about how to recover well. So nothing special. Nothing more than in the past, except that we have to, yeah, spend a lot of hours to get it ready.

Q. You talk about regaining the mental side of things. Does that just come from playing matches, finding that consistency?

JUSTINE HENIN: Of course. Yeah, of course. It's the competition that gives that. The fact that you are in these tight situations where you have to play well on the important points, to keep the intensity, concentration. Just playing matches will give me that.

Offline HarryWild

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« Reply #51 on: January 22, 2010, 06:53:50 PM »

The New York Times
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January 22, 2010
Good Times and Bad, Henin Has Kept Her Coach in View

MELBOURNE, Australia — Justine Henin and Carlos Rodriguez have been together since she was 14. She was a wunderkind then, and he was her coach. Both have a bit of age on them now, but all you have to do is watch Henin search the grandstand for him after each hard-fought point to see not much has changed. They do not merely exchange glances; they mind-meld.

Each had plenty to think about Friday when Henin’s comeback and Australian Open was almost ended after Alisa Kleybanova, the No. 27 seed, dropped her in the first set, 6-3. But Rodriguez knew his player would not quit — and she did not, battling back to a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory.

Rodriguez has been with Henin through it all. They met shortly after the death of her mother, Françoise Rosière. With Henin’s shorn hair and oversize T-shirt, Rodriguez mistook her for a boy. He was impressed by her fierce work ethic, helped develop her exquisite one-handed backhand and watched as she became an artist on a tennis court — a pint-sized one at 5 feet 5 and 126 pounds, but one whose outsize talent and grit have translated into seven singles titles in Grand Slam events.

He was at Henin’s side as she became estranged from her father, Jose, over her relationship with her eventual husband, Pierre-Yves Hardenne, which subsequently ended in divorce. When Henin walked away from the sport nearly two years ago, Rodriguez understood. She was No. 1, but she was hurting physically and burned out emotionally.

He was surprised several months ago when Henin called to tell him that she wanted to return to the tour, and that she wanted him to return with her. While the coach certainly wanted his player back on the court, the friend who had a hand in raising her needed to be convinced that her head was where her heart was.

“It was about the attitude,” Rodriguez said. “I wanted her to enjoy it a little bit more.”

There was little doubt here Wednesday against Elena Dementieva that the 27-year-old Henin had once more found joy in tennis. She pumped her fist when she sliced a ball out of reach. A small but satisfied smile creased her face when a crosscourt shot from the net caught her opponent off balance.

Against Kleybanova, a powerful 20-year-old up and comer, Henin had to grimace, scold herself and dig deep after dropping the opening set and coming within a point of falling to 4-1 in the second set. She admittedly was tired from her nearly three hour match with Dementieva and it showed in her early ragged play.

“I think I love challenges, that’s the way I am,” she said. “I cannot live like normally. I need always to push myself and to push the limits back. And I feel, again, that, well, I’m very proud of what I’m doing right now. I enjoy my game out there. That’s the most important thing.”

But Henin found solace in the pain she endured, winning 11 of the next 14 games. She beamed like a lighthouse when the match was over, aiming it first at Rodriguez, who she concedes is far more of a friend and a life coach than a tennis instructor.

After time away from the sport, much of it spent traveling as a Unicef ambassador, Henin is taking what she is calling her second career one match, one set and one point at a time.

“I just tried to play point after point, be focused on every moment, even if it’s not easy,” she said, with a smile that telegraphed that she may have exceeded her own high expectations already.

She added: “I was ready for a tough match. I was ready mentally, emotionally and physically it would be difficult. Now, even if I have the ambition to go further and win every match that I’ll play, everything’s bonus for me.

The return of the woman that Martina Navratilova once called the “female Federer” has electrified crowds and players alike in Melbourne.

The fifth-ranked Dementieva may have been unfortunate to draw Henin in the second round, but said she intended to study the DVD of the match for keys to her own improvement. She said she could hardly tell Henin had been away.

“She was moving well, hitting hard,” Dementieva said. “You know, just doesn’t feel like she had the break.”

Serena Williams, the world’s top player, understands that Henin’s enterprising shot-making and speedy persistence offer a counterpoint to her own formidable talents.

“I’m so happy to see Henin back and doing well,” Williams said. “She’s such a good player and a fighter. I think she brings just a totally different theme to the game.”

Against Dementieva, Henin attacked the net 43 times, won 35 of those points and earned a thunderous ovation with a serve-and-volley on match point that was capped by a rocket of a backhand up the line. The effort took its toll — Henin’s leg was bandaged, and she only went to the net 25 times, capitalizing on 16 of them.

She has always been a fighter, but Henin appears to be a more mature player on and off the court. She has reconnected with her father and, with Rodriguez, has cast her comeback as more about having fun than a quest for more Grand Slam titles.

Henin is candid about what needs improvement. Her serve for one has been shaky — she double faulted six times here. She also is not certain how her body will hold up in just her second tournament back. Her leg was wrapped and Henin confessed she was awfully tired.

“My body suffered a lot,” she said. “It’s not used to it anymore. I didn’t have 48 hours. I slept terribly.”

She is comfortable accepting what she does not know. In fact, she is looking forward to finding out the answers.

“What I do after such a long time off is just amazing,” she said. “I know it’s gonna take a while just to find a lot of stability and some consistency.”

As Rodriguez wanted, Henin is relaxed and enjoying it, taking it one match, one set and one point at a time.

Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

Offline HarryWild

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« Reply #52 on: January 22, 2010, 09:11:19 PM »

Fashion photo of Justine!

At her club?

Offline HarryWild

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« Reply #53 on: January 23, 2010, 12:12:39 AM »
Tennis Channel Report on match between Justine and Elena 2nd Round 2010 Australian Open:

Below is the story:

Steve Flink: Henin is Revitalized

1/20/2010 1:00:00 PM

by Steve Flink

As soon as the Australian Open draw was released late last week, the early round match most eagerly anticipated by one and all in the tennis community was the second round meeting between the seven time Grand Slam tournament winner Justine Henin and No. 5 seed Elena Dementieva. This was a contest we all wanted to see. Had Henin been seeded--- as she surely should have been--- these two highly accomplished players might have collided much later in the tournament, perhaps in the quarterfinals or even the semifinals. But the Australian Open authorities went with the official WTA computer rankings and decided to leave Henin out of the seedings because this is only her second tournament back after being away from the game since May of 2008.

Henin arrived as expected for their second round appointment knowing full well what was at stake. One of them would move on safely and remain in contention for the first major of 2010. The other would be out of the tournament entirely too early, a victim of a terribly unfair draw, and a prisoner of circumstances out of her control. But if it was a cruel fate for Henin and Dementieva to clash so early in the event, the fact remained that the beneficiaries of the situation were the fans. They hoped for a close, hard fought, suspenseful encounter, and the players did not let them down. In the end, Henin’s mindset and quiet ferocity enabled her to stop Dementieva 7-5, 7-6 (6) in a gripping showdown lasting nearly three hours. There may not be a higher quality women’s contest in this entire tournament.

Let’s consider how it all unfolded, and what it took for Henin to win a straight set victory that she could just have easily have lost in two sets. From the outset, both women were pushing each other to the hilt in rally after rally, exploring every inch of the court, keeping their piercing strokes deep, hitting their second serve returns without inhibition. They were setting exceedingly high standards, and neither player could maintain the upper hand for long. The tone was set immediately. Serving at 0-1 in the first set, Henin fought her way through an eight deuce game, saving three break points, surviving despite four double faults to make it to 1-1.

Henin seemed to find her range as she broke the Russian for 2-1, but she lost her serve in the next game. At 3-3, Henin laced her returns commandingly to get the break at love, but once more Dementieva retaliated convincingly, breaking back for 4-4, holding on at the cost of only a single point, and taking a 5-4 lead. Henin had slightly lost the initiative, and Dementieva was matching her stroke for stroke in the top of the line rallies. In the tenth game, Henin found herself in the tensest of territory. Twice she was down set point, but the Belgian demonstrated at those crucial moments that she remains a champion who is at her best under duress. She simply elevated her game and raised her level of aggression when it counted.

The first time she was behind set point, Henin released an excellent forehand approach that kept Dementieva off balance, and the Belgian confidently angled away a backhand volley crosscourt into the clear. On the second, Henin unleashed a gutsy forehand down the line that landed just inside the sideline for a clean winner. She held on gamely for 5-5, but Dementieva surged to a 40-15 lead in the eleventh game. Henin once more displayed her big point prowess. She took the next three points, and then broke for 6-5 by making a delayed approach off the backhand before closing in for a beautifully angled backhand volley winner.

Both players were not ceding any ground. Dementieva saved two set points in the following game, but Henin finally held on by provoking an error from Dementieva with a scorching forehand down the line. Henin had the set, but her control of the match was tenuous. Dementieva surged to a 2-0 lead in the second set before Henin struck back boldly to 2-2. The Russian took the next two games to build a 4-2 lead, but again Henin answered by collecting the next two games to reach 4-4. She then broke through for 5-4, served for the match, reached 30-0 and even made it to match point. Henin squandered that chance to close out the account by uncharacteristically missing a routine forehand down the line. A resourceful and obstinate Dementieva battled back to 5-5.

The drama was not over. Henin broke again for 6-5, but for the second time she could not serve out the match. Both women were vulnerable on serve, but they were returning with gusto and excelling in that department of the game. On they went to a tie-break, and Henin hit a golden patch in the middle of it. She reached 3-3 in that sequence by lacing a deep backhand approach to open up an avenue for a forehand swing volley winner. Then she connected with a service winner down the T for 4-3, and made it to 5-3 by stepping up the pace on her backhand to elicit an error from a hard pressed Dementieva.

Henin was two points away from the triumph, but she lost the next three points, missing a return of serve, double faulting, and sending a wayward backhand into the alley. Now Henin was serving at 5-6 and set point down. She seemed devoid of anxiety. Henin rolled her majestic one-handed topspin backhand crosscourt with such accuracy that Dementieva had to stab the ball back with one hand off her backhand side. Henin moved forward with full conviction, and her daring forehand drive volley crosscourt was a clean winner. It was 6-6.

Dementieva indecisively sliced a backhand into the net on the following point, and Henin was at match point. She did not hesitate in the least. Directing her first serve deep to the backhand, Henin played serve-and-volley, storming in to punch a backhand first volley down the line into an empty space, underlining her supremacy at the end with that audacious move. For the 35th time in 43 net approaches, Henin had succeeded. In her first Grand Slam event since the 2008 Australian Open, Henin showed very few signs of being gone from the game for so long. It was a win well earned a supreme triumph of the will, a victory that reminded all of us just how much we have missed watching Justine Henin go to work on the biggest stages in her profession.

The pace of her comeback has been extraordinary. In her first tournament at Brisbane, she reached the final and lost narrowly to Kim Clijsters in a magnificent contest, rallying nobly from a set and 4-1 down to win 8 games in a row, twice reaching match point in the tenth game of the third set, and finally bowing 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (6) by the narrowest of margins. Now she has achieved her first big win by eclipsing Dementieva for the tenth time in twelve career duels. In the ultimate analysis, what separated Henin from Dementieva was her multi-layered game. Henin is so complete and versatile, so creative and majestic with her slice and topspin backhands, so willing to rework other parts of her game, that no one in the world of women’s tennis can match her flexibility or professionalism.

There will be a considerable amount of hard work ahead for this industrious, 27-year-old woman. She will need to bounce back swiftly after her physically taxing and emotionally draining battle with Dementieva. Should she win her next two matches, there would be a likely quarterfinal with Clijsters in Melbourne, and a possible semifinal with Dinara Safina or Jelena Jankovic. But no matter what happens to Henin at this Australian Open, she will undoubtedly accomplish on a large scale over the course of this season. There is no way she won’t win at least one major in 2010, and possibly more. She is still tinkering with her game, shortening the backswing on her forehand, tampering with her service motion, searching to find ways to get to the net more frequently. But she is working assiduously to improve her game.

In Dementieva, Henin was facing one of the premier service returners in the sport. Henin managed to win only 52% of her first serve points, and took only 48% of her second serve points. Those numbers will need to improve, and they surely well. There are isolated moments where her shot selection is not as astute as it once was. But Henin knows what she wants, and understands how to go about getting there. She is the most commendable figure in the women’s game, and was a joy to see her playing with such passion and panache in the early stages of her comeback against someone as formidable as Dementieva.

Offline Babblelot

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« Reply #54 on: January 23, 2010, 12:17:30 AM »

Fashion photo of Justine!

Thank UUUUUuuuu for posting that!  :) :) :) :)
1995 USO, 1997 USO, 2004 USO, 2005 RG, 2005 USO, 2006 RG, 2006 USO, 2007 USO, 2008 RG, 2008 USO, 2009 USO, 2010 USO, 2011 USO, 2012 USO

Offline tonaiden

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« Reply #55 on: January 23, 2010, 01:07:21 PM »
she really is pretty.

Offline HarryWild

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« Reply #56 on: January 24, 2010, 07:53:30 PM »

Justine defeats fellow Belgium  Yanina Wickmayer 7-6, 1-6, 6-3

Another tough match but Justine came through it with a win!

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You struggled early. How did you recover from a second set 1‑6?

JUSTINE HENIN: Well, it wasn't that easy. Of course, the first set asked me a lot of energy and a lot of intensity. Then the beginning of the second set, uhm, I slow down a little bit. She didn't give me a lot of points at that time. And she played very good tennis.

Just tried to stay calm. At the end of the second set, it was difficult mentally to stay in the set. But started to be really focused on the third set. I got the opportunity to start it pretty well, and that's what I did. It was important to put the pressure early in the third set. Finally I could keep my serve.

I served very well today. I'm very happy about that. In the third set, I've been aggressive enough, and there was a good tennis. So glad the way I finished. Really it's a great feeling to be in the quarters. I enjoyed my time on the court. It wasn't an easy match. I was expecting a tough match. That happened. I'm glad I could come through.

Q. What part of your game is improving every match?

JUSTINE HENIN: A lot of things improved in the last few matches. The way I play more aggressive, coming to the net. I think my game at the net is just better than it was before. I just need to be brave enough to do it. That's what I did on the important points today.

I served very well, very consistent. More than 60%. It's not very often that happen to me in my career. I'll try to enjoy that.

No, I was glad that mentally in the third set I've been a hundred percent on every point. Of course, it's difficult matches. Physically it's long matches. The last few days hasn't been that easy. But I feel just so happy. I'll give my best again in two days.

Q. You've spent a lot of time on court. You must be very pleased how you finished that game, physically as well.

JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, very happy. Of course, my left leg is quite sore. Sprained my ankle today also when I fell down. I hope it's going to be okay tomorrow. So physically it hasn't been easy in the last few days.

But, like I said, I didn't play tennis for two more years, so I probably love to spend more time on the court. But it's the kind of match that gives confidence, of course. When you have to fight, that's probably what I need. It's just more than what I could expect. I couldn't think I could be at this level at this time of the year, after almost two years off.

It's, yeah, magical out there the way I feel. I feel so happy on the court. I feel it's my place. I feel I wouldn't say different, but I enjoy it much more, and I find the passion again. That's a great feeling.

Q. How do you feel you're playing this week compared to when you were at your best?

JUSTINE HENIN: It's very hard to compare because a lot of things happened. I feel probably I'll live things differently. But it's only the beginning. So it's early for me to take conclusions on that.

But I think my game improved. It's just that we can still feel that it's only my second tournament. You know, a few situations during the match that I shouldn't do what I did. But that's going to be the competition that is gonna give me that. I have to play matches, a few tournaments in a row. So I know that I'll need that.

But it's more than what I thought I would be. I mean, in this tournament, at this level, I take everything as bonus. Yeah, it's just fantastic at the moment.

Q. We saw what Kim did in the US Open. Do you feel you could win this thing?

JUSTINE HENIN: I don't go that far. I just go step by step. Every match is a goal. Every match, I know everything can happen. It's probably the right attitude to have, just to be focused on this moment right now.

That's what I did since I arrived in Australia, and I think it worked pretty good. So, no, I don't look too far. I dream of every match that I have to play. I dream that I can win it. I know how I built my career: slowly, took my time a lot, because I thought that long‑term was the best for me. And I think the key for me, I was dreaming, of course, when I was younger, but I took my time a lot. That's what I'm doing at the moment also.

Of course, I have dreams. I'll try to go as far as possible. If it's till the end, it would be amazing. But it's still too early to talk about that. Probably the hardest part about that is coming. No, I just live this moment right now and try to enjoy it.

Q. Are you surprised your quarterfinal opponent is Nadia Petrova?

JUSTINE HENIN: I'm not surprised because I know how well she can play. I played her in Brisbane. It was a very good match, very good quality. Well, Carlos told me that day that she would do a good Australian circuit because she was in good shape already. Now in this tournament she's in confidence. She played a great match against Kim, got more confidence today against Kuznetsova. So I know it's going to be a big fight.

Nadia is a tough player, a real fighter. So I know I'll have to play my best tennis if I want to go to the semis.

Q. Have you ever felt as at ease, as relaxed as you seem right now in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam?

JUSTINE HENIN: Not in the past. But I've been No. 1 for a long time. When you're No. 1, you have to deal with the pressure and the situation. It's not the same. I'm not in the same kind of situation, but I hope that one day I'll be in the situation again.

It's just that it's still very early for me. You know, it's only my second tournament, so to talk about that... I feel the distance I took in the last two years helps me a lot at the moment. I live the pressure differently, the expectations and everything differently at the moment. So it's really positive.

I hope that I can fix it in the future; that it's not something just now, and that it will last for my second career.

Q. Your thoughts on Yanina?

JUSTINE HENIN: I was impressed the way she went for everything. You know, she didn't give me a lot. She has been very solid, very consistent, real fighter on the court.

She put a lot of intensity in the ball. I had to play a good game to win. So I was ready to fight. But I was impressed the way she played, yeah.

Offline LEGION

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« Reply #57 on: January 25, 2010, 06:55:25 AM »
Justine is so cute, damn  :grind dance: I'd be thrilled if she wins the A.O.; how awesome that would be  :cool:
Marching Towards the Abyss.............

"Pete, oh Pete, you're so divine; your smile, your eyes, your receding hairline"


Offline falcon

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« Reply #58 on: January 25, 2010, 08:12:32 PM »
So so so happy that she's made it to the semis.... :)) And yes, Justine is pretty and so is her tennis  :)
The drag of destiny destroys the reins of reason

Offline HarryWild

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« Reply #59 on: January 25, 2010, 10:59:45 PM »

Justine winning her quarter-final against Russia’s Nadia Petrova 7-6(3) 7-5 in
111 minutes at Rod Laver Arena.

Article from Australian Open Website:

Henin's comeback run continues

< Back to Match Reports List
Tuesday 26 January 2010
By Mike Steere
Justine Henin celebrates winning the first set

Former world No. 1 Justine Henin believes her ability to win crucial points is giving her a winning edge after she progressed to the semi-finals of Australian Open 2010 on Tuesday.

Henin, Belgium’s latest comeback queen, reached the last four of her first Grand Slam tournament since retiring 20 months ago by winning her quarter-final against Russia’s Nadia Petrova 7-6(3) 7-5 in 111 minutes at Rod Laver Arena.

After the match, Henin said she was playing the big points well.

“This week, in this tournament I’ve been able to in the last few days to do it. It’s probably the most important thing,” she said.

“Even if you know you’re not playing your best tennis, being able in the tight moments to play good tennis like I did, I think it’s the key mentally.”

Some concerns do remain for the Belgian ahead of her semi-final, as she managed to get only 45 per cent of her first serves on target, and had her service game broken four times in a difficult match against the 19th seed.

“It was really difficult to find a rhythm, but when I had to play well, that’s what I did,” Henin said.

Petrova was shaping a serious threat in the tournament after easily marching through to Tuesday’s meeting with Henin. But it was the 27-year-old Belgian who looked the stronger from early in the match, breaking Petrova in the fifth game and consolidating to take a 4-2 lead.

However, the Russian fought back, and as both players struggled to hold serve, the set went to an inevitable tie-break.

Henin won the tie-break comfortably as she worked Petrova around the court, and took advantage of the Russian’s unforced errors.

Petrova hit back hard early in the second set. She adopted a more aggressive approach, and as she found a rhythm with her first serve, she found herself serving at 3-0 up in the set.

Henin then fought back from this point, breaking Petrova’s serve and going on a four-game streak to lead 4-3. After both players held serve to 6-5, it was again Petrova who buckled under the pressure and dropped her serve for a fifth time in the match to give Henin the victory.

The Belgian’s win was largely a result of her ability to work Petrova around and dominate the rallies. She came to the net with good effect, winning two-thirds of the points when she did, and despite less than half of her first serves finding the mark, she managed to work points off her second serve.

Petrova also gifted the Belgian too many points, particularly at important moments. She produced 41 unforced errors to Henin’s 26.

Tuesday’s win was the 13th time Henin had beaten Petrova in 15 meetings. The Belgian now faces Jie Zheng, who defeated Maria Kirilenko in straight sets in today’s other women’s quarter-final.

Fast facts

- Petrova served at 56 per cent for the match, while Henin served at just 45 per cent.

- Petrova made 41 errors to the Belgian’s 26.

- Henin was successful on five of her 12 break point chances, while Petrova converted four of her six

*    *     *      *    *     *     *    *     *      *    *     *      *    *     *      *    *     *      *    *     *

Next opponent is Jie Zheng  of China

It is speed verse speed!  Shot making verse shot making!  Both are the same height too - 5' 5" or 1.65 meters.

Wow!  Now this up and coming will be very interesting to watch.  They are kind of playing the same style opponent as themselves!