Henin keen to get over Wimbledon loss with good show in Toronto
The Associated Press
Monday, August 13, 2007
TORONTO: Justine Henin still has a bitter taste in her mouth from the way she exited Wimbledon.
The world's top-ranked woman returns to the WTA Tour at this week's Rogers Cup for the first time since her stunning defeat to unseeded Marion Bartoli of France in the Wimbledon semifinals more than five weeks ago. Henin blew a set and a break lead.
"Wimbledon, it seems far away from me now, but it's true that I have also a feeling that I need a little bit of revenge from that," Henin said on Monday. "I could be very calm and understand what did happen. It's tough, you need a lot of humility.
"But it's very important that you can come through these pretty tough moments, and now I have to look forward and in the future and be focused on my goals, and try to learn a lot of things from that experience."
She hopes to produce a better memory in Toronto, where she won the Rogers Cup in 2003 and lost the final in 2005 to fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters.
"Toronto is a lot of good memories, it's a very special tournament to me so I'm very happy I could make it, and I hope I'm going to have a good one," she said.
The 25-year-old Henin has amassed a 38-4 win-loss record this season, capturing five titles including the French Open.
But she pulled out of the tournament in San Diego two weeks ago with injuries to both of her wrists.
"It's getting much better," she said of her wrist woes.
Her psyche has taken a turn for the better too since a much-needed vacation following Wimbledon.
"We had a wonderful time for 10 days — forget about tennis and forget about Wimbledon and I had to take a very good rest for my wrist and I was back to work two and a half weeks ago," she said. "I'm fresh mentally for the end of the season now."
Bartoli, meanwhile, was also hoping to get back on track since she stole the spotlight at the All England Club.
The 22-year-old upended two of the world's top three players — Henin and No. 3 Jelena Jankovic — at Wimbledon before losing to Venus Williams in the final.
She returned to action for the Bank of the West Classic, but lost in her first match to Lilia Osterloh (ranked 106th). Last week, she was ousted in the second round of the East West Bank Classic by Russian Maria Kirilenko.
"It's hard to bounce back after such great results, especially because it was the first time for me," Bartoli said of her recent results. "I think I came back to the tour a little too early, I think it was a mistake. My body was so tired, I just got sick."
She's also been struggling with an injury to her right wrist that's been bothering her since battling the powerful Williams at Wimbledon.
"I've never experienced that kind of serve before . . . it was too much 'first time in a row,'" she said.
Bartoli pointed out it was her first time playing in a grand slam final, and her first time facing Williams, who serves at a blistering 125 miles an hour.
"It was just too much 'first time,'" Bartoli said.
Her wrist still bore a pronounced tan line on Monday from the tape she's been wearing to speed the healing. But she insists she's fine.
"I feel I've recovered well and now I'm ready to go on court and compete at my best level."