*knowing a lot will just come into this thread to post the word "no"*
In Justine time, there often are 'newsflashes' from teh JHH front.
How she's doing, interviews that appear etc. etc. ...
Mybe some people don't enter J-time, but they're still interested in what's going on with JU at the moment, so... I (we) will post every interesting
fact about her in this thread.
) Translated an interveiw that appeared on her official site (not yet in English) with her coach... It's an interesting read.
12/11/2004: Carlos is confident Justine will be back on top
While the best female players are battling it out in Los Angeles, Justine’s gone off on a holiday, trying to restore her health and get a lot of sun while kicking up a few balls. In 10 days’time, if everything goes well, she should take up her training and get herself ready for the next season. Coming to the close of a spotty year, Carlos assesses Justine’s improvements over the last years and shows confidence in the continuation of her career.
Four years without rest
From 2001 to 2004 Justine has improved no end, much faster than what we could expect…
«Just looking back, I notice that since January 2001 to the moment she became ill this year, she never had a let-up » says Carlos. «She had no injury in 4 years and kept a pace that got tougher and tougher. In four years there was no time for a let-up. She got on so quickly that even if you consider the resting periods she was given, she was always slightly behind in her recuperation, most of all in her psychological and emotional recuperation»
Justine had to bear up under much strain and what happened this year’s easy to explain
«Back in 2001, she moved from the 53rd to the 9th rank , in 2002 she ended up with the 5th spot, and in 2003 she became number one. Not only did she manage to dominate the tour in very little time she also had to overcome many ups and downs in her private life, like her grandfather’s death in 2001. In 2002, she got married, a terrific period for her but this also took its toll emotionally speaking. She had to take it all alone. For a young girl her age, taking all this in your stride is an enormous strain, people don’t always realise this. When you look back on her history from 2001 to 2004, you feel what happened to her this year was not so unexpected. I’m not saying I had expected it but it makes it easier to understand.»
In 2003, further to her second major title everything went faster
«In 2003, she got her first major, had a faultless American tour and won the US Open. When she came back from the US she was exhausted and all the thanks she got were those doping allegations. She was so hurt it kind of hampered her recuperation, says Carlos. Then pressure was terrible. The number one spot had become a possibility. Belgium suddenly found herself with 2 girls fighting for it. This was incredible. Everyone turned to Justine and Kim and people had to wait till the very last tournament to know the winner. After Zurich, Justine was really tired, she couldn’t recuperate. Then, during the Masters, she became ill. Further to this, even on her holidays, she couldn’t get over her fatigue but people only realised after the Australian Open when pressure was again very tough. No sooner had we landed in Sydney than cameras were rolling at her . This was new to her. The new number one, she’d won the latest major and she was really in the limelight»
Tennis needed a number 1 like Justine
Seeing a 5 foot 6 player with a one-hand backhand and a different style reaching the top spot had done tennis some good.
«Justine has proved a lot. She’s proved that playing differently you can make it. When adequately prepared even a 5 foot 6 girl could make it, without resorting to doping agents. She’s proved many things which have done tennis a lot of good. It really came at the right time for the tour. Justine, the new number one, 5 feet 6, playing with one hand, with much variation, who can run very quickly, who can rush the net, who’s a master tactician, a girl with so much grit»
« To see such a diminutive player succeed in beating taller and stronger girls has created much hope. The consequence of this was that she was always hounded by the media. Unconsciously, she wanted to prove she was the real number one even if, to me, she had nothing to prove as she was clearly the best. She proved it, she really breezed through the tour while being number one.»
When she got back from Australia, it was then she really felt drained
«She first had bronchitis in Antwerp and had to retire and take a lot of criticism. It really hurt her as she didn’t deserve this. Today some of the journalists who heaped criticism upon her have realised it was really a health problem that made her give up on Antwerp. But in the meantime, it really took its toll on her. And two or three days after we got to Dubai, she was still smarting.»
Justine is on the right track
Justine and Carlos have learned a lot now
« She was the victim of her success, we’ve got to understand and accept it. It isn’t always easy for people to do so but we musn’t forget that she’s the one suffering most from this situation, because she can’t work, she can’t live out her passion. And all that she wants is to play and be happy on a court. But we’ve learned a lot from it all. There aren’t many adjustments to make. We must manage her season more intelligently, leaving 2 or 3 week intervals playing no tournaments at all and also limiting her commitments outside tennis. We’ll have to analyse what has or hasn’t worked but we’re not going to go for in-depth soul-searching. We’ll make the appropriate adjustments while sticking to the same approach »
«We have no regret over our choices so far. She doesn’t regret playing the Olympics. Right now< she even considers it’s been her greatest victory. There was no way I could have stopped her from playing in Athens as she felt in top shape then. It sounds easy now to say we shouldn’t have gone to Athens. But a gold medal is certainly not something to be sneezed at. And we’ll assume full responsibilities for this. It also helped us to understand that, with this virus, she could be OK for 10 days then suffer a relapse»
For the moment there’s only one thing which matters: healing
Her main concern is to recover. Once she’s fully recovered, we’ll work again. And we know that, with a lot of work, she’ll reach her goal again, namely being back on top»
Carlos is convinced Justine will steadily go back to the top
«Right now she’s on holiday and doing some training with Pierre-Yves. I’ve prescribed a light physical and training schedule. It’s never good if you lay off completely. She’s told me she needed to feel her body move and work. A good sign. Her thirst for competition is coming back. Everything that was bothering her is gone. She sleeps tight. Everything’s going back to normal. She’s got another two weeks to enjoy her holidays and two months before getting to Australia safe and sound. We’ll take it easy, we shouldn’t set Australia as our first objective. It’s her whole season and the rest of her career we’re working on now. There’s no hurry. Should we move too fast she might have to pay for it one year from now»
Even though she was knocked down by her virus, Justine has carried on practising tennis and has managed to keep her motivation.
We’ve worked on certain segments of her game where there’s still room for improvement, like her serves. We’ve tried to upgrade her game in a constructive way, which has boosted up Justine’s motivation as she felt she could still improve despite her virus. She realised she was not losing her tennis. At the Olympics, she realised she felt good, that she could serve well and rush the net. That the technical improvements she’d worked on while on the sidelines had paid off. I don’t see why she couldn’t do as well in the future, maybe it won’t always come easy but her technical capabilities will be even better than at Athens.»
If everything works according to schedule, Justine will resume competition in Australia in mid-January. She’ll have a challenge to take up in Charleroi at the Women Tennis Trophy which will feature Kuznetsova, Dementieva and Dechy
«We’ll have to see how to get her going but I’m quite confident as we’re taking our time. We’ve still got 2 months to go. Should everything continue this way, we’ll be able to work quietly. Following one month and her first test at the Charleroi event, she should get motivated and get rid of whatever doubts may still linger. This should be a good challenge, enabling her to see if she’s shaken off the rust. If she’s on the right track, then she’ll have 3 or 4 weeks to work through before the AO.»
On to a second career
«Now, I’m feeling she’s starting a new career if I may put it this way. You see she feels she’s met her obligations : she’s lucky enough to be able to call herself a real champion as she became N° 1, won three majors, got the Olympic gold and clearly dominated tennis when in good health. She’s proved a lot of things, to herself and to others. She can now think she can try to do even better but also that she can enjoy herself while doing so. I really hope she’ll take advantage of her champion status. I’m not saying that ranking doesn’t mean anything to her anymore but her goal now is to win new major titles again and other tournaments. This is a new start. With her experience, her maturity, the confience she’s gained from all her victories, she’ll be able to approach the tour differently. She’s got nothingto prove anymore. Everyone knows how good she is, everyone knows how talented she is. Outside Shaparova whom she’s never played on the official tour she’s defeated all the top tenners. She’s also lost to them but was able to surpass them and knows what to do for that purpose»
«This is why she must take her time, train properly and prepare herself adequately so that when playing her first tournament she may bridge her competition gap with her flair and tennis experience and then get into the tournament in the third or fourth round with all her reflexes sharpened. I have no doubt she’ll come back to the top. When exactly I couldn’t say. She must set her mind at ease and work. When her health is fully restored, the rest will follow suit. »
(little frustrated about all the Serena/masha threads