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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 January, 2004, 07:09 GMT
Henin reveals relief
Justine Henin-Hardenne
Justine Henin-Hardenne admitted she had been struck by nerves during her Australian Open win over Kim Clijsters.

Henin-Hardenne was pegged back by her Belgian compatriot in the second and third sets before eventually triumphing 6-3 4-6 6-3.

"I tried to stay focused on every point but game after game, I was feeling more nervous," Henin-Hardenne said.

"I'm not afraid of anyone, but sometimes I'm afraid of myself. The mental part is very important."

Henin-Hardenne has now won three of the last four Grand Slam tournaments, all against Clijsters.

Clijsters delivered two double faults at 3-4 in the final set, just as Henin-Hardenne appeared to be faltering, but the world number two denied she had been affected by pressure.

People make mistakes. I am not the sort of player that's going to start complaining after matches
Kim Clijsters
"I felt like today I was playing well. I don't think it's got anything to do with psychology at all," Clijsters said.

"I've made a few double-faults this tournament - probably more than I usually do. I haven't had the practices that I would like to have on my serve. "

Clijsters also refused to blame a call that went against her at break point in the same game.

Her drive volley appeared to land on the baseline, but was called out by the umpire.

"People have told me that it was in so that is not nice but I don't want to go into it," she said.

"People make mistakes. I am not the sort of player that's going to start complaining after matches."

And Clijsters refused to comment when asked whether Henin-Hardenne might have influenced the umpire by indicating that the ball was out.

"I'm not going to go into things like that. I don't want to start any trouble or anything. Things happen," said Clijsters.

Henin-Hardenne said she was convinced the ball was long.

"The umpire took responsibility, and I think it was a very tough call, but I think it was long.she said.

"I didn't look at the replay and right now, I don't care too much."



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