Justine Henin has advice for Polish number one: “She must also convince herself that she is the boss of women’s tennis”

With the Australian Open (January 16-29) just around the corner, it’s time to look ahead. The former Belgian tennis star Justine Henin added this this week Eurosport. There, our 40-year-old compatriot speaks highly of Iga Swiatek and also gives advice to the Polish number one in the world.

Jonas Withouck

Things are going fast for Iga Swiatek, who won two Grand Slam tournaments last year with Roland Garros and the US Open and thus became number one in the world. And that while she is only 21 years old. According to Justine Henin, who was number one in the world for 117 weeks in her younger years, Swiatek can even make progress.

“She has an unusual technique, but she has also made it her strength. You can clearly see how much speed she has in her arms and she has a lot of quality,” says Henin, who also sees areas for improvement. “She has to think about what she can improve without negatively affecting other qualities. Perhaps her biggest point for improvement lies with the mental aspect of the sport. She is currently the absolute boss of women’s tennis, but she has to convince herself of that too. On the other hand, that modesty can also be a strength, thinks Henin. “Doubt makes the greatest champions. Maybe this is what makes her such a great champion.”

Little resistance

In 2022 there was no measure on Swiatek. The Polish often had little opposition. Last week she lost to Jessica Pegula at the United Cup. “Rivalry is healthy, women’s tennis needs it too. Swiatek is not pushed to the limit with the women, because there are too many opportunities. You hear players say ‘oh we can play badly for a week and then return to the top’, that is not favorable. I would like to see a tougher competition with really big rivalry between the best women.”

©  AFP

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