Here's already a part from the transelation. it's a very intersting part. Especially about her singing capactities
BTW - You might wn to change some of my cranky English sentences. It's hard to first transelate the French into Dutch and then into English. It eliminates half of my English-sentence-forming capacity
Le Soir interview
Justine, Henin, the words of the number one
- Relaxed and very at ease, the girl from the Ardennes looks back on her year that will remain exceptionnal.
- She didn't side-step any subject, even not the most delicat ones.
PHILIPPE VANDE WEYER
Zen and high-tech, it's like that that we can describe the apartment of Justine et Pierre-Yves Hardenne in Wépion. The couple welcomes us in the intimacy of their duplex for a general review of that bottle 2003 that will remain classified as a grand cru in the carreer of the girl from the Ardennes.
Justine Henin, you prefer being the number one on the end of the season. Why?
- To keep tha number one place a couple of weeks and to have more time to control it. It also means more requests. With Carlos (Rodriguez, the coach), we have concluded that it would be better to be on it on the 10th of november. I would be more ready to return to action in the middle of january, having accepted my new state.
Do you remember the first time that you have taken the number 1 spot?
- It's very vague. All I know is that the woman who occupies herself with my contact lenses, remembered me that the first time I went to see her, she asked me what I wanted to do later and I anwered: being the world number 1. I must have been 11 or 12 years old. The people must have teken me for a big day dreamer.
On which moment did you take notice that the possibily was reallythere?
- After my victory on Roland Garros. Winning two Grand Slams and becoming number 1 this year, it's something we didn't hope. When I lost in the semi finals of the Austalian Open (against Venus Williams), there was still a too huge gap between me and the girls above me.
Do you feel that you're the real leader of the tour?
- This year, yes. Without any possible discussion. Of course, you can argue about the absence of the Williams sisters, but if they would play mmore, would they be physically able to hold their grip. As for Kim, she's definately as strong as me in the game, but I have handled the difficult situations better than her. It's in my to Grand Slam finals that I have become number 1.
Is it because of the absence of the Williams sisters that you and Kim have become number one?
- They have helped us a little bit, that's evident. With having said that and what concers me, when I've beaten Serena in Charleston, I have gotten a sign. I had understood very well her way of playing and the mental approach that I have to have against her. Roland Garros was a turn around. At Wimbledon, she was too strong.
Do you miss them?
- Personally, no! (laughs) But as players, I love it when the competition is as hard as possible. Honnestly, I would be more happy when they return because it could also be a way for me to find another motivation.
Doesn't the WTA help you to statute of a star?
- I rather think that we are beginning to return to the sporting aspect. At least I hope it's like that, because when they talk to me about my aprtment or about the dog of Kim, I think it's sad. We have in Belgium two girls that are the world number 1 and 2. It's that that has to be important. Unfortunately, the interest of the people is sometimes elsewhere.
Are you capable of realising the Grand Slam in 2004?
- My dream is winning all for of them one day. Now, there have happened so many things since the moth of June that I have to take my time. Winning Wmbledon or the Australian Open woul be sensational, but we have to keep being realistic: the defeat in a Grand Slam will happen one day.
Do you get accustomed to succes?
- I have to learn to live with eyes of the people on me. And it's not easy. Two years ago, I had bad experiences with my arrival in the top 10. I wondered if I was made for being permanently observed. I've had troubles with asserting myself in the top 10, then in the top 5 and, this year, I have burst open and I have gotten accustomed to the succes. Even if there are times when I'm more irritated than other times. When people come to me, it's always delicat. Nine times on ten, thing will work out fine, but the tenth time, it will be the wrong moment and that person will forever hate me.
The people that know very little of you, look to you as a girl always in control ...
- In public, I try to maintain a certain control because I think that there is something in me that I have to keep for myself. On the personal side, I am very generous and very spontane. I live more for th other than for myself. I'm still young. In time I will begin to be more natural and have more close relations with the people. There are people who may look more close but who are actually hypocrit. I myself try to be honnest to my public. I believe that I give them a lot, but I also don't want to give them too much. I want to remain a simple girl, true to her image.
Although you don't hesistate in revealing your mistakes, you don't like to show your emotions. Why?
- I am a very honnest person with the press and in general. It's important to be able to admit your mistakes to accept them, because when you lie, you can't live in peace wuth yourself. As for my emotions, they have always forbid me to show them in my childhood. I couldn't cry. I created an obstruction, but today everything's much better. Inside myself, my joy is huge but I don't have the urge to show it to the others. From the moment that the people that are close to me feel it, I'm already happy
Are you still capable of being astonished?
- Yes. I went to see Céline Dion in Las Vegas and I was astonished like a little girl can be before me. I know all her songs by heart! I wa in full admiration before someone so energetic and so generous. Céline Dion, it's one of the biggest stars you can meet and she has remained so simple and so natural. A lesson.
We don't know a thing about the singer inside Justine Henin ...
- It's better like that because I sing like a cat! Under the shower and in my car. I drive Pierre-Yves and Carlos crazy!
Do you still manage to control your private life?
- I can't do what I want any more. I appeal to a lot of people, because Je ne peux plus faire ce que je veux. After my return from the US Open, I have made my purchases in a supermarket just 500 meters from here. I'll never do that again! I permanently had 8 to 10 peopl around me. It was madness. It's like that, it'll never change and I accept it. It happens that we so to restaurants where we know that we'll have some rest.
You are a role model. Is it difficult to bear?
- Not at all. Adults and children write letters to me to say that I am a ray of light in their life. It's fantastic to help people just to let them go through those emtions. I have a role to fullfil.
You have had a complex regarding your physique. When did it stop beaing the case?
- Untill march-april this year, I thought that I would never get there. Because of my figure, I lacked power regarding the other girls. I was desperate. The problem was physical and also mental. Because you can be small and give the impression of being someone who's very strong. Well, me, I was small, but I didn't want to act like I was bigger. In the past, I was physically too much retiring into myself. That atitude comes from the past, from the very past. Today, I reraise my shoulders and my head. It's a way to show that I'm alive. It's the fruit of a lot of the work on my person that has taken a lot of time that has not yet finished. The image is very important. You must never show that you are doubting.
Do you think that you're first of all a woman today?
- Since my mariage, yes. A year ago, even when I made the impression of being mature because my life has force me to grow up very quick, I was at the same time still too young in my head.
It seems that you like very much photo sessions and publicities these days ...
- Yes, because they permit me of doing something different. The tennis world is very closed and not very real. It's not a world where you can build up real friendships. We are driven to meet people who are there just because of intersest and who are really whatever you can imagine. Also hotels and airports, it's hard. It's very far from the ideal life that the people think we have.
Will you still play the Fed Cup?
- (She hesitates) I don't think so, no. I any case, not next year when there're also Olympic Games. It's too much. And then, the recent problems don't bring anything positive to the situation.
Let's talk about those "Recent problems". Did the not so hidden doping accustions hurt you much?
- Definately. People have tried to soil the biggest things I realised this year, being my victory at the US Open. People can think what they want, I don't care because I know that it's not true. But there are children that see me as their role model. You cannot feed trouble without evidence, just because what I realise makes some people jealous. Saying that I have been found positive on Roland Garros, that was a step too far. I have troubles with accepting it and I will have troubles with forgiving it.
You have never explicated yourself to your offenders?
- No. First of all, those people haven't come to find me. Then, once the bad thing has spread around, it's too late. I know that my progress is astonishing, bit I also know how much I have sweated to get there.
When you say "Those people", you don't refer to Kim Clijsters?
- No. She, she has heard me after the final of San Diego. If there' something that I haven't done in my carreer, it' stopping a match for a psychological break. She as very dissappointed, but she also has to think before she speaks. Having said this, I myself have said bad words against Davenport and I regret them. I should have shut up.
Did you discuss it with Kim?
- No, and I don't think that it'll happen. Between us, there was, nothing has broken because tehre was nothing to break. We have always protected this image of friendship that never existed. We are the first ones that are responsible. We are colleagues at work and we repect each other. In the end, what happened is good because now the thins are very clear.
Can you confirm here that you have never taken doping?
- Never! And I am convinced that I have never been tempted to do it. For me, the sportmen that use dopind have to be suspended forever! I don't know how they dare to show up on court, hoisting a trophy and laugh at the audience. It has to be very hard.
And those famous food complements, including creatine, does it happen that you take them?
- I do not take anything. I think that, in a long term, there' only one thing that works: working. I would never put my health and my conscious in danger to get results.
After your victory in New-York, the people in the street were talking more about the Ferrari that you would buy for your husband than about your succes on the courts. Waren't you two the first ones responsible for that situation?
- Without a doubt, yes. We have commited a youghtful transgression. That story, it wasn't us that has reveiled it to the press. The Ferrari was a tric betwen us. Naive and innocent, I confirmed the rumour. W will never do it again! (laughs) It's an experience because we have understood that a certain press loves that. Le Ferrari and Beaty (the dog of Clijsters) are the stories of 2003!
After the Masters, you depart on vacation. How do you behave under the sunshade?
- Pierre-Yves has always told me that I'm only 15 days myself during a year! He' right. I don't like making pancakes. We will scuba diving and water sports. Reading books too. Above all, we're going to find each other again. Pierre-Yves will have a much more relaxed woman by his side. It'll do us good.
Besides all, do you practice sports to keep in form?
- It's obligatory, if not, I would feel miserable. I will go running or do some muscle exercises, but I will not touch racquets. I wonder if I will manage to put my cell phone off. (laughs)
When you recieve your check of a tournament, do you ever have a bad feeling?
- Jamais. L’argent me permet de bien vivre mais je vous assure que je n’y pense pas du tout. Je vis dans un monde où il y a énormément d’argent. J’ai eu beaucoup de chance de naître avec ce talent mais ma vie comporte aussi d’énormes inconvénients. Je sais qu’il y a beaucoup de misère dans le monde mais je ne peux pas culpabiliser pour autant.
Le meilleur souvenir de 2003 ?
- Rayon émotions : Roland Garros. J’aurais voulu écrire l’histoire que je ne l’aurais pas écrite différemment. Au niveau personnel, mon escapade avec Pierre-Yves à Las Vegas. C’était super, même si j’ai perdu 20 dollars en dix minutes aux machines à sous ! (Rires.)
Le plus mauvais ?
- Ma défaite contre Kim à Anvers. J’ai subi là un affront devant mon public. C’était dur, mais ça m’a fait réagir. C’est peut-être dans cette défaite qu’il faut chercher les raisons de cette fantastique année 2003.
Si vous n’aviez pas été joueuse de tennis, qu’auriez-vous aimé faire ?
- Difficile à dire car j’ai l’impression d’avoir toujours vécu pour être tenniswoman. Mon rêve était de devenir astronaute! J’aurais pu être aussi journaliste. Un jour, j’essaierai de développer mon sens littéraire. J’écrirai sans doute moi-même ma propre histoire où, cette fois, je me dévoilerai entièrement.
Vos contacts avec votre père, vos frères et votre soeur sont-ils définitivement rompus ?
- En ce qui concerne mon frère et mon père, oui. C’est une certitude. Il y a quelque chose de cassé. J’ai eu besoin à un moment donné de prendre ma vie en main parce que je ne pouvais pas toujours laisser les autres décider pour moi de ce qui était bien ou pas. Aujourd’hui, je veux m’entourer des gens qui m’aiment pour ce que je suis réellement. J’ai réussi à guérir un petit peu mes blessures.
Et avec Sarah ?
- C’est différent. Elle a 16 ans et n’est pas responsable des erreurs qu’« ils » ont commises par le passé. Maintenant, ça ne veut pas dire pour autant (elle s’interrompt)… On laissera passer du temps et on verra…
Votre bonheur actuel compense-t-il vos malheurs du passé ?
- J’ai eu raison de faire confiance à certaines personnes et je suis récompensée aujourd’hui. Mais mon bonheur actuel serait total si j’avais ma maman à mes côtés. Je rendrais tout, mes titres, mon argent, pour la ravoir. Pour le reste, je n’ai aucun regret. Je devrais recommencer ma vie, je referais tout pareil. Je veux dire ici que j’ai trouvé mon bonheur. Beaucoup de gens disent : « Oh ! pauvre petite Justine, elle en a vécu des choses ». C’est vrai, mais la vie continue.