Less is more for Justine Henin-it is the winning that matters
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While many players complain that they have to compete in too many tournaments, Justine Henin stays at the top by playing less. The petite Belgian has entered just 13 tournaments this season but is a rock-solid number one in the rankings.
She has won nine tournaments this year, beating her own record of eight set in 2003, and next month she will be chasing a 10th crown, at the WTA Championships in Madrid.
"It's very important to be smart about my calendar," Henin said. "When you win a lot of matches you can take it easy and don't play that much, but the thing is that I want to be 100 per cent every time I walk on the court. I don't want to go and play if I'm 50 per cent. Out of respect for the players and the fans I want to give everything."
She said of Madrid: "I would prefer 10 titles to nine this year for sure, but it's probably for me the most difficult tournament of the year. It's the best eight players so it's going to be a tough one and I know it. I know I'm going to be number one now (at the end of the year) so it's just going to be a challenge to win the Championships one more time. It's the last effort and I love that tournament and I'm very excited about it."
Henin will go into Madrid as defending champion, a title she claimed against the odds last year after playing just two matches after the US Open.
This year she will be boosted by winning titles in Stuttgart and Zurich, both earned by defeating French teenager Tatiana Golovin. "I had a lot of joy this year," said Henin, who was concerned that the split from her husband that led to her missing the Australian Open would affect her career.
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