Henin-Hardenne inspired by men not women
Justine Henin-Hardenne hopes to complete a career Grand Slam by taking lessons from Roger Federer, the King of the men's game.india Updated: Jul 07, 2006 23:32 IST
Justine Henin-Hardenne hopes to complete a career Grand Slamthis weekendbytaking lessons from Roger Federer, the king of the men's game.
The Belgian third seed, who takes on world number one Amelie Mauresmo in the Wimbledon final, believes men's tennis has taught her so much that she hardly pays attention to the women's competition.
"I don't watch a lot of women's tennis," said the triple French Open champion.
"I watch a lot of men's tennis. It's a very different kind of game. In the last couple of months I have played much more with my forehand. The men are doing that a lot. They move forward. They're very relaxed. They have a different kind of attitude. So it's pretty interesting. When I watch Federer playing tennis, it's really fantastic."
Henin-Hardenne, whose career has been dogged by illness and injury, goes into the final against the Frenchwoman as the slight favourite after steamrolling her way through the tournament where she has yet to drop a set.
She believes that the first of her six Grand Slam wins, which came at Roland Garros in 2003, altered her mindset about the game.
"I've always been very emotional," she said. "But I control that much better now than I did in the past. I would say that early in 2003 I felt something was different.
"Then I knew I had to do more than what I was doing. Also when I went to work in Florida with Pat Etcheberry, mentally I changed a lot of things, I understood the effort I had to make if I wanted to become a champion," Henin said.
Mauresmo, who clinched her first Grand Slam title in Australia in January when Henin-Hardenne pulled out in the final with stomach pains, is bidding to become the first Frenchwoman since Suzanne Lenglen in 1925 to win the Wimbledon title.
She's not convinced by the Belgian's argument that she never watches women's tennis. "Well, I think that's what she says," said the 27-year-old.
"I watched a little bit of her semi-final (against Kim Clijsters). I could see a few things here and there that both of them were doing."