Justine Henin Interview - Miami, Mar 28

Posted on March 29, 2008

J. HENIN/A. Kerber 6­4, 6­2

An interview with: JUSTINE HENIN

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. The way you were cracking off aces today suggests that maybe you've been perhaps putting in a little bit more time with your serve.

JUSTINE HENIN: I did. Yeah, I did spend a lot of time on my serve in the last few weeks. But I had to spend my time also a lot in the gym and really working hard, trying to get confidence back in my strength. And I've been working hard. I feel much better physically today than a few weeks ago. That's for sure. So we could see it in my serve. And generally, in my game now I can do ­ I did mistakes, I agree, but I did some winners. I can play with my forehand again, and I feel that everything is better now. But I still have to improve my game. It was my first match, and I didn't play for a few weeks, but I just feel much better than I was a few weeks ago.

Q. Are you going for a little bit more on your first serve because you're hitting so well?

JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, I do. Because I know it's going to be the way I'm going to be more aggressive behind my serve. I hit ­ really hit my first serve then I'm aggressive behind. Also on the second serve I take some risks, but, you know, I almost serve at 100 miles an hour on my second serve. That's good. That's the way I have to serve, because I have one of the best second serves on the circuit. But last few weeks I was serving so slow because I wasn't in confidence, and it was tough. But now I did spend a lot of time and it's doing better.

Q. And you averaged 110 miles an hour on your first serve today; does that surprise you?

JUSTINE HENIN: Not really, no. I'm able to do it. I did it in the past already. I just must be more consistent on my first serve. But I think it's going to help me to win easy points if I can serve better. It's going to be interesting in the next few months.

Q. About your camp, why did you choose Florida over California or somewhere else? And how might your camp differ in the way you bring juniors along?

JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, I think why Florida is because I did spend a lot of time in Florida in the last few years. Working in Saddle Brook with Pat Etcheberry, and that's a place I feel comfortable. Why in Orlando? Because when I met these people I felt we had the same philosophy together. It's going to be different in the way that it's going to be the quality instead of the quantity. I just hope I can bring in the States the way I learned how to play tennis. It was so different from what we can see here, so it's a good challenge. I hope everyone will feel happy and will improve over there.

Q. In the States they're doing a big push for what the USTA calls "quick start" with the mini tennis and the junior tennis. Europe's been doing that for a long time. You'll incorporate that?

JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, I think mini tennis, that's how I started to play tennis. I don't say it's the only way to become a champion, but I think that when you're six, seven, eight years old and you're not tall, you're not strong, it's great to have soft balls and smaller racquets. That gives you the opportunity to do almost everything and that helped me a lot to do everything with the racquet now, for sure. I don't say it's the only way, but it's the way I learned how to play tennis.

Q. When you're hitting your first serve as well as you were today, does it help you gain confidence to go for more with your second serve as well?

JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, that's for sure. My game depends a lot of my serve and my return, that's for sure. If I'm aggressive at the beginning of the point, usually I remain aggressive the whole point. But if I start the point, you know, being defensive already and on my first ball, it's pretty hard after to change. And I think that on my second serve I must go the way I did today, even if I do some double faults, but just hit my second serve as well. It's almost like I can attacking the ball already with my second serve, so it's very good.

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