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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 September 2007, 03:25 GMT 04:25 UK
US Open 2007
Flushing Meadows, New York, 27 August-9 September

Justine Henin
Henin won the US Open title for the first time in 2004
Justine Henin says her 2007 US Open triumph is the best of her career after outclassing Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova in Saturday's final.

The 25-year-old Belgian won 6-1 6-3 to secure a second singles title at Flushing Meadows and the seventh Grand Slam crown of her brilliant career.

Earlier victories over the Williams sisters made the win all the sweeter.

"This one is maybe the most important and the quality I played in the last few matches was amazing," she said.

At the start of 2007, Henin opted not to play in the Australian Open after separating from her husband of four years, Pierre-Yves Hardenne.

Not a lot of people thought I could win this Open with the draw I had... it's amazing for me

Justine Henin

But her year began to improve after she was reconciled with her family, from whom she had been estranged since 1999.

Henin, whose mother died when she was 12, regained contact after her brother David was in a coma for two days following a serious car accident.

"The fact that I have my family back in my life helps a lot," said Henin, who won a fourth French Open title after beating Ana Ivanovic in June.

"They give me a lot of support. I'm feeling in peace with myself and that's a very important feeling for me."

Henin, who weighs just 57kg and stands 1.67m tall, reached the final by beating Australian Open champion Serena Williams in the last eight and then Wimbledon winner Venus Williams.

"I'm really proud, not being that tall and I can compete and be the best player in the world," said the world number one, who is the only player to win two Grand Slams this season.

"Not a lot of people thought I could win this Open with the draw I had and I did it. It's amazing for me.

"I didn't lose a set, so it's just great what I did and I am really proud of it."

I've said it before but Justine's number one

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Henin reserved special praise for her coach, Carlos Rodriguez, and gave him a hug when she climbed into the stands after her win.

"Carlos has been the only one that told me every day 'you can do it, you can be the number one player in the world'," she said.

"When I was a little girl I was just dreaming of winning one Grand Slam title in my career and now I have seven.

"I have given everything for tennis the last 20 years and it will be the same as that for the next few years."

Kuznetsova admitted she had struggled under the onslaught from Henin but felt the scoreline was harsh.


"I didn't play my best game so that's why I lost," she said. "With these players you just have so few opportunities.

"If you don't use them there's no way I'm going to win. I had so many of them. I felt I just didn't move to the ball well enough because I was pretty tight.

"It's very tough. I think the match was much closer than the score for sure.

"I've said it before but Justine's number one. When she plays her best game I have to play my best game. So I think I've got to learn a lot from this final and just improve."



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