Justine however did look sharp in the early rounds.
It was confirmed by Vladimir Platenik, who is coaching Nadia Petrova, who lost to her in the previous round. He was very impressed by the Belgian's level of play, with the quality of her serve, with six aces and 70 per cent of first seves in, her return of serve as well as her agrerssion, and the way she covers the net.
She has a game which suits grass, she knows how to slice her serve to then create openings on the court, to return second serves, moving forward with a backhand chop stroke, and when to charge at the net.
Kim looks composed and happy. However Justine faced many issues against Kim, who has the same style of play.
She plays with a lot of agression and moves forward as often as she can with a lot of
She also seems to be happy, happy to be playing on a tennis court, happy to be back on tour, happy to live and fully enjoying each moment.
She seems to catch the best of any opportunity offered to her, which is the key step for improving and playing your best tennis.
Justine, meanwhile, seems down and upset.
This is exactly the opposite face to what Justine Henin showed.
She was face down, not willing to share her emotions, always seemed as if she does not deserve to be in this world. As if watching her playing tennis is not a gift.
Mike Tyson used to say there is nothing more dangerous than a happy boxer.
We might think the most agressive boxer is the best while in reality it is the happier one.
Henin plays well and seems focused but she is not happy.
She doesn't show the strength that her opponent does.
At last Petra Kvitova found some balance.
The main challenge most young players have is to find a good balance, which Kvitova just found. She has a huge game. I have always liked the tennis played by this tall Czech.
Two years ago I advised Nike - who I advise on up-and-coming players - to sign her, and they promptly did.
I knew what she was capable of after watching her play some great matches. However, she did not play with the same consistency over a large period of time.
She is a member of the Czech tennis federation, trains in Prostejov along with Tomas Berdych and Lucie Safarova.
She never had the same coach, and at one point had the same as Yveta Benesova.
If you are not well advised, it's impossible to find good balance in your game.
She has been working with David Kotyza from the Czech federation for a while, the one
who brought out the best in her.
They get along fine and confidence between the two is good. David is a great professional who works a lot, which is not always the case.
Petra is showing her best tennis. She is improving while putting her game together with
a good left-handed serve.
She can also hit the ball flat from both sides when she moves forward and can do some damage.
In the men's draw it is not a surprise to see Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal step up a gear.
They both have their hands full ahead. Tomas Berdych will play Federer while Rafa faces Robin Soderling.
However I must admit I was stunned by Novak Djokovic.
This player has amazing qualities as he is still struggling with his serve.
I am worried because he doesn't have the natural gesture needed to serve well.
However he is a great champion and found other ways to win.
He played against a resurgent Lleyton Hewitt and showed better mental strength and better tactics.
He played the game Hewitt was unable to play. Played backhand chop strokes, which the Australian couldn't use to find more speed.
Then the Serb could use all the angles Hewitt opened.
Djokovic also managed to play his forehands with more height effect and could then target more angles, which totally upset Hewitt, who could not play the defensive game he likes.
He was forced to play short and allowed Djokovic to accelerate the game.
A masterpiece display won logically by the mastermind.
- Justine Henin
- Kim Clijsters