Justine gives interesting interview.
2006 MEDIBANK INTERNATIONAL INTERVIEWS: Justine Henin-Hardenne
/noticias.info/ 2006 MEDIBANK INTERNATIONAL
J. HENIN-HARDENNE/S. Kuznetsova
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You won the toss, but you elected to receive. Did you want to check out the conditions first? Do you often do that?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: That's what usually I do if I have the choice. I usually choose to receive because I think that's better. You need a few points to get really in the match, so that's what I do all the time normally.
Q. How did you feel out there today?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Very good. Very comfortable on the court. I was moving great. I've been very powerful. I think I've never been as relaxed on the tennis court in the past, so I think that was great. I was feeling amazing on the court. It was feeling today like I didn't stop for four months playing competition, so that was great. For me now it's bonus. I have four matches here before the Australian Open. I'm very happy the way I'm playing right now, and I hope I can keep going in this way.
Q. Is that because your training was good in the off-season, your preparation was good?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: I think it's been good every year. I'm working very hard all the time. I've been very frustrating last year. Even if I won Roland Garros, I think it's been hard for me to be away from the courts. I only played nine tournaments last year, probably nine or ten the year before. I've been very frustrating. Then I took the right decision to stop after Filderstadt last October and just take some rest and to have a good recovery. So now I'm feeling healthy, and that's a big point. When you feeling well physically, I think that mentally you feeling stronger, too.
Q. You won here in Sydney in 2004 and went down to Melbourne and won also. How does this year compare to 2004?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Oh, it's very different because I was dominating the tour end of 2003. I played unbelievable. I finished the year No. 1. That was different kind of situation. Now, even if I'm playing well right now, it's still a comeback from a long time. I need the whole season to give conclusions and play a lot of tournaments. So it's very different situation. I don't like too much to compare this year to another year 'cause everything is different and you have to go step by step and take your time.
Q. How do you rate your chances at the Australian Open?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Right now I am very focused on my final here, so I think when my tournament here is gonna be over maybe I can think about the Australian Open. But my philosophy is very simple: I just go match after match. Every match is a goal. If I can play good, I keep winning, it's gonna be good. But we'll see. It depends from a lot of things, not only from me. So we'll see about that next week.
Q. People might ask, you're not a really big person but you have a lot of power on that backhand. Is it that you see the ball so early and get it right in the middle of the racquet, or what do you put it down to, your power?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: I think I'm more powerful on my forehand now than I am on my backhand. My backhand is very natural. That's why maybe you pay more attention on that. But I think my forehand is really my biggest weapon in my game right now. I am very powerful. Like today, I could hit a lot of winners with my forehand, especially the inside-out. So I think I worked pretty hard on my forehand last few years and that pays now on the court. But I can tell you I spend a lot of time in the gym, you know, do a lot of fitness and some weights and everything. So that's good.
Q. Quick feet, obviously, too?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Yeah, for sure. But that's more natural for me to be quick, so I have to keep working for sure on my quickness. But being powerful is not really my natural, so we have to work more on this.
Q. With Kim's injury yesterday, who do you see as the favorite for the Australian Open next week?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Like I said, I mean, I have no answer right now. How do you want me to say that? It didn't begin yet, so we'll see next week. I don't know how the other players are going to feel. Depends of many things: how you sleep, how you feel, if you healthy and everything. So it's so hard to predict what's gonna happen.
Q. When everybody's playing at their best, who's the hardest to beat? Serena?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: No, I don't know. I don't like too much to say about that 'cause I think I have a lot of respect for everyone. For me, every match is different. It depends from the conditions. So I don't know. All the players can beat everyone. There is a lot of concurrence. We could see it, four different winners in Grand Slams last year. So that means it's very hard to predict who is the toughest player. I don't know about that.
Q. How do you rate today's performance out of ten?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: I don't like to judge myself, you know, with a number. I think I felt great on the court. I'm very happy to be back. I think I played a very solid match, very consistent. I served pretty good. That was one of the key points today. My serve, my first serve was very, very good. So I don't know. I felt great on the court. Very relaxed. My game was good, so we'll see. I hope I can keep going this way.
Q. There's been a lot of attention surrounding Serena Williams' weight gain and a lot of unflattering photographs in the newspaper. What are your thoughts on that?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: On what?
THE MODERATOR: Serena, her weight.
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Her weight, oh. I have no thoughts about that. I mean, no, no comments. No opinion. I never saw the pictures or anything, so no.
Q. Given your time away from the court the last few months, would it have been better for you to have played yesterday than have the walkover?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: I was a little bit -- my muscles were a little bit tired because it's been my first match since a long time. After the first two matches I was feeling tight a little bit. For sure I knew I need matches, but yesterday I was for sure disappointed for my opponent - she was injured - but it was good for me; I could recover a little bit. Because with the heat and everything, the tension of the first matches of the year, I think I was a little bit tired. So that was good. I could have a good recovery.
Q. You say that you haven't got thoughts on Serena's weight, but do you think that's unfair that's been focused on?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: I don't know. The media, they always find something. They need something every day to write. So I don't want to talk too much about that. But they have to ask the question to Serena. I don't have any comments about that.
Q. Can you talk about your possible opponents in the final? Can you talk about those?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: My visit to the hospital, you're saying?
Q. No, your possible opponents.
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Oh (laughing). Yeah, okay. I went to the hospital two days ago to visit the kids. That's why I thought... So, yeah, tomorrow is gonna be a tough match. It's gonna be a final, so different kind of atmosphere. I have no preference because you have to play 100 percents, be focused. Vaidisova, she's a young player, coming very strong on the tour. She improved a lot last few months. And Schiavone, she's a great fighter so it's going to be a tough mission for me. It's going to be a night match. The conditions are going to be very different so I will probably need a little bit of time to get used to that. But it's great I could have four matches this week. That gives a lot of confidence. After that I will have a little break this weekend and hope can get ready for next week.
End of FastScripts….