Keep trying, even when things don't go your way: Henin

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Keep trying, even when things don't go your way: Henin

Justine Henin has overcome a hundred hurdles along the way in becoming the Olympic champion, seven-time Grand Slam champion and the world No.1 for a long time, who could hit the single-handed backhand with such poise and control.

The cheerful Belgian put the Indian juniors at ease and had no hesitation in sharing her experiences after a brief hitting session with them on court.

‘’Patience’’ said Henin when queried about the tips that she would give on the art of playing on clay.

‘’You have to take steps differently. On clay you have to slide. You have to be patient to set up the point, and when you get a short ball, you have to take the opportunity and go for it. It is not a two-shot game on clay’’, warned Henin, as she emphasised the basic traits required to flourish on clay.

‘’You have to play different trajectories. If you hit flat, you are not going to bother your opponent much’’, she said.
Henin was pleasantly surprised when one of the players, Bhakti Shah, answered that she liked playing on clay.

Looking at the players Henin said that it was important to dream of great things, and visualise one achieving them. Of course, one has to work sincerely towards reaching those goals.

‘’Everyone cannot be a champion. But, you give everything you have. Try your best’’, she said.

How to recover from bad matches, was another question.
‘’You play some bad matches, or a lot of bad matches’’, she teased.’’We all play bad matches. Things may be going very fast, and not in our favour. But look at Serena. She may not be playing her best all the time. But she hates losing. Since, she doesn’t want to lose, she steps up her game. She will serve four aces in a game suddenly. First try to be good competitors. Not everyone will be perfect. You learn from the bad experiences, and think how differently you can do in the next match’’, said Henin.

Further elaborating, Henin said that one has to keep trying on court, even if things do not go in one’s favour.

‘’Even if it is not working, keep trying. Remember to put the ball on court. Stay in the moment. Don’t think about the four games that you had lost, or the future games that you may lose’’, she said.

Henin was very clear that it was important to have the satisfaction of having tried one’s best, irrespective of winning or losing a match.

Many young players tend to be very good in practice and training, but in the matches they are not able to unleash their best game. How to be as good in matches?

‘’When you are not able to play at your best, try to become physical. Try to move better. Match situations may paralyse you, and you may become tight, the arm may not move freely for the shots. In such moments, you have to activate yourself physically, by moving better. Stay focused in the moment, and play the point’’, said Henin.

Summing up her experience, Henin said that it was important to have the passion for the game, so that it would drive one’s tennis career on the right path.

(Courtesy: The Hindu)

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LAST UPDATED ON : 28-Feb-2020 3:51 PM IST