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hopefully her ass can cash on Thursday. Justine says in her post match interview on Tuesday that she knows ALL of Serena's strengths and weaknesses, which suggest to me that she feels she can counteract any and everything Serena throws at her on Thursday. Actually, this is a very bold statement by Justine, because I don't think Serena's mother thinks she knows ALL of Serena's strengths and weaknesses, and she gave birth to her. I don't even think Venus would make such a claim. Justine, I am scare of you!!! I guess someone should call Serena and tell her there is no need to show up--NOT!!!

Justine I hope you can back up this claim, Otherwise, Serena is going to kick your ass!!

Q. Apparently it was an easy match. What was the factor here?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: I think, you know, I was a little bit nervous this morning, but finally when I got on the court, I said, "Okay, just play point after point." I think I played pretty well today, especially on the important points. I think my game was very good today and I won the match.
So I have nothing more to say. Was a good match for myself, and I'm pretty happy that my game has improved match after match. It's good for the semifinal, too.

Q. How are you looking forward to your semifinal match with Serena? What are you going to expect?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: It's gonna be my next goal. It's gonna be another match against the No. 1 player in the world. Sure, it's gonna be a tough match, difficult. I think she is the favorite, for sure. I mean, she is playing so well in the last months and years now, but -- and she played an unbelievable match today. So, I mean, I'll go on the court to win the match, but I know she has great motivation and she wants to win the French Open, and she gonna give everything for that. But we'll see on the court. We can talk a lot about that. It's on the court that we will have the answer.

Q. How are you able to control the match pretty easily today against such an aggressive player? It seemed your serve was going well, your forehand.
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Yeah, exactly. I think she started the match pretty well. She was aggressive in my first service game. I stood very cool on the court. I said, "Okay, just play point after point, try to be aggressive, try to go to the net, try to push her little bit more." That's what I did.
I played a lot with my forehand. It's true that it became my best shot in my game for sure. And my serve, I was pretty happy, because in a couple of games I could serve, yeah, three or four first serves. It was good for me. It's important against this kind of players. Because if you have to play only with your second serve, you can't be aggressive enough to beat them.

Q. How important is it going to be for you to serve very well against Serena?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: It's gonna be one of the big points of the match, for sure. I'll have to serve well, I'll have to be aggressive, I'll have to play my game, and I'll have to play a great match to beat Serena.
So we will see. It's gonna be another match, you know. Last time, I won. But she's gonna have great motivation to beat me again because she lost against me in Charleston. So I know that, and, you know, I'm gonna be the outsider. It's good. I'll go on the court to go to my first final here in the French Open.

Q. How important is it also to make sure that - with Amelie today, she got off to a slow start, and before she knew it, she was down so fast - to make sure you get in the match?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Yeah, I'll have to be 100 percent on every point - from the beginning of match until the last point. For sure it's important against this kind of player to start well the match.
Because if not, I think that they're much better after that. So I think Amelie was a little bit nervous. I didn't watch the match, but that's what I heard. You know, it's gonna be another match, another day. It's okay. I'm pretty happy to play the No. 1 in the world. I'm, again, in the semifinal of a Grand Slam. It's great for myself.

Q. Just talk a little bit about her intensity, how hard she fights and is able to focus when she's in big matches?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: I think everybody said Serena is not playing so well at the beginning of the match, especially in the last match against Sugiyama. I think everybody gave her the motivation she needed for beating Amelie today in Roland Garros. I mean, she was so focused, she was so determinated. You know when she has to play, she does.
So you know she's No. 1 in the world, that's good for her. But we'll see in the semifinal how she's gonna be. But I will just try to be focus on myself, playing my game, and try to forget what she's gonna do. We all know that she's playing good tennis, so I know what I'll have to do for beat her, and I will have to stay focus for that.

Q. Is it important to show her you're not nervous when you get on the court, that you're going to fight and can be just as intense as she is?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Yeah, it's important for sure but you never know how you're gonna react and how you're gonna feel and what you're gonna show. But it's true that I have to build all this attitude from now until the match, because it's so much important for me.
And you know, it's just a tennis match. It's gonna be for sure an important match, semifinal of a Grand Slam, but it's not whole life.
THE MODERATOR: French questions, please.

Q. What can you say about your level of game?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: It was very good today. I played very well. I had some very small moments when I was not as focused. But she started really quick and I tried to reverse the trend right from the beginning and try to be as aggressive as possible. I tried to come up to the net as much as possible and play with my forehand. This is what I managed to do. I think this was very positive.
My serve also hindered her quite a lot. These were risks that I took that were quite positive, actually. I think I was really in full control of the game, and I'm very happy with the result.

Q. Between Amelie and Serena, who would you have preferred to play for the semifinal?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: I don't have any preference because I know that either of them has a very powerful game. I know that with both of them it's going to be very difficult.
We know that Amelie is in front of a home crowd and that she can do a lot of things here. Serena, everybody knows how strongly she plays and how confident she is and how determined she is.
So I have no preference. My goal today was to win my quarterfinal match, and now I am going to look into my next match, and I'll try to think about it clearly. We still have two days before the semifinal.

Q. It is an advantage for you to have seen Serena today?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Well, I knew the attitude she would be having in this match against Amelie. I knew what to expect from her. I knew she's gonna come on the court ready to win.
Last time I beat her, and I know that she doesn't like that. In a Grand Slam tournament, she is strongly determined, and she wants to win.
Now, as far as I'm concerned, I also have my strengths, and I want to win, too. I'm going to work on my strengths. I think I've been able to properly manage this tournament. I was not really lucky with the draw with Patty Schnyder and Chanda Rubin today, but I'm glad I'm here and will play in a semifinal again.

Q. You said the match against Venus was a bit difficult on a hard surface. Is this going to change with Serena?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Well, things are different. It was a hard surface, it was against Venus. Now it is on clay, it is against Serena. Serena won the title here last year, and, of course, I will feel a little bit intimidated. I will try to have a positive attitude, I'll try to be as positive as possible so that when I get on the court, I can be 100 percent of my abilities.
I'm very happy it's a new challenge that I have to rise up to within 48 hours, and it's wonderful that I am now in this situation.

Q. This is the best challenge you could be faced with. It is quite a motivation to play the world No. 1?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Yes, it's quite a big challenge to come back to Roland Garros, and it's true that I had some difficulties in the first round, but then I was able to improve my level of game day after day. And I'm very happy that I have been so far and that I am now going to play the world No. 1.
I know it's gonna be a tough match. I know I'll have to play my best game, or at least a very solid game in order to impose myself. I hope I won't feel too much pressure.

Q. Are you going to draw from your experience in Charleston in order to prepare for that match, or are you going to turn the page?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: As I said several times, against players I have played recently, I think we have to see things differently, according to the tournament where we are.
Thursday will be another day. I know what all the strengths and weaknesses of Serena are. I'm not going to talk about them now, but I'm quite aware of them. Serena will tell you she played very badly in Charleston; this is what she thinks. I have nothing else to add.
I played a very good match, nothing extraordinary either, but it was a good match. We'll see what happens on the court. I'll try to play the best that I can, and we'll see how it turns out.

Q. Carlos said that after your win after Schnyder, in the restaurant where you celebrated your birthday, you were quite relieved. Were you really quite relieved?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Yes, it's true that it was a very tight game in the Round of 16 playing Patty Schnyder. At that stage of the competition was very hard because it was a very intense match, a very tight game. In the evening, I was celebrating my 21st birthday. It was wonderful. It's true that I felt much better. Now, on the other hand, this morning I felt very nervous before this match against Rubin. It's true that we feel nervous before each and every match. I had to take revenge, and I was able to turn this nervousness into something positive.

Q. Is it a source of stress, the fact that you don't want to lose against Serena?
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Well, it's true that I'm not the favorite for that particular match, so I can't tell you. I don't know what's gonna happen in two days' time. I don't know how I will feel on that morning. I don't know how I will wake up in the morning.
Now, the match against Schnyder is over. The match against Rubin is also over. I've won them both and it's wonderful. I am very happy about this and I am trying to live in the moment.

Q. I know you might soon be ranked No. 3. I know it's important for you.
JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: No, ranking is not important for me. This may be because of that that I am winning. What I am trying to do is set a number of objectives for myself and see if I can win.
But knowing whether I rank No. 3 or 2 or 4 is not really what matters to me. What I want to do is to win my match on Thursday and to play the best that I can.

Premium Member
1,432 Posts
I think you're reading too much into it. Saying she knows is not the same thing as saying she can do necessarily do anything about it! I'm glad she thinks she's in with a chance (because otherwise she wouldn't have a chance) but I'm sure she doesn't think she's a dead certainty!

I'm so current, I'm tomorrow.
49,309 Posts
She has every reason to have a sense of confidence...but yet retain her guarded optimism. She is afterall the #3 ranked tennis player in the world. Allez Juju!!

psychotic banana
3,022 Posts
So glad to see her happy and confident in herself. Good luck Justine. :)

7,804 Posts
I think Henin needs to mix up the pace. Serena likes hard balls. This is where Amelie went wrong. Serena feeds off this.

Justine needs to mix up the slice and don't forget the dropshots. Serena does not move very well at all to dropshots and often falls. I mean if it is an excellent dropshot Justine can win these points.

If this match is as dissapointing as Amelie QF, I'm not going to watch the final!!!

(just kidding!) :D

5,213 Posts
I don't think Justine shows herself overly confident here?

Anyway, it's nothing compared to what Serena said on Belgian tv (I don't know if it made the international media). She said more or less what Justine predicted she would say... so clearly Juju knows some of her weaknesses. :p

Asked if she wasn't worried a little bit, since Justine had beaten her last time around, Serena answered, very off-handedly: "Did she? I thought I beat myself..."

Now that's what I call (over?) confidence. :eek:

(But frankly, if Serena plays like she did on Tuesday, I don't give one old Belgian Frank for Justine's chances... or anybody else's, for that matter. But I hope I'm wrong. I hope we get to see some real tennis - cause watching Amélie being burried beneath the French clay was not so nice.)
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3,458 Posts
I don't see the problem :confused:? I think this is a really good interview from Justine - she has such a great perspective on things. :rolleyes:

5,878 Posts
Didn't see much (anything?) wrong with what Justine had to say...

Unless every interview any player gives is a source for controversy these days.

Which it sadly is.

845 Posts
Maybe Justine should talk that shit when she goes up against Kim. Kim always kick her butt when they play and Serena is 20 times better than Kim. Maybe she should learn all of Kim's strengths and weakness also so she can beat her when they face each other. Good luck to both ladies.

double-dog daredevil
12,044 Posts
I would like to thank leslie and theultimateone for proving my point that no matter how players answer questions about how they approach matches against Serena, certain people will find an excuse to bitch about it (and before you say it, I do know that certain others will find any excuse to criticize Serena or Venus - doesn't make either side any smarter).

Go Serena and Allez Juju, may the best woman win!
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