Former world no .1 Justine Henin will start her 2011 season in the Hopman Cup in Perth Australia. Justine is teaming up with Ruben Bemelmans in the mixed event. Justine is going to face Alicia Molik of Australia and will also face Ana Ivanovic in the next round. The event will definitely help Justine's preparation in the Australian Open since she will face some tough opponents and is assured at least 3 singles matches. In an interview before the start of the Hopman Cup, Justin is downplaying her chances to win this year's Australian Open.
My elbow is getting better but it is now six months from my injury so I can't say I am 100 per cent,' the world number 12 said Wednesday after arriving in Western Australia from China.
'I am working very hard on it - I spend two hours every day,' said the 2010 Australian Open finalist. 'When we heard about the serious injury there were concerns about the future of my career.'
'I can improve, but it may take a few more weeks, maybe months, to really be like I wish I could be. It is a big lesson for me, I have to work harder on this and it gives me the discipline again.
'I am not feeling free of all the pain but I am in the right direction for sure.'
Given her lack of match play, Henin, 28, is keen to get stuck into the round-robin Hopman format, with winners from the two groups meeting in the final.
'After the injury, being guaranteed a few matches in good conditions and to have a week off also before the Australian Open, I thought it was a really good opportunity for me to play doubles and to get more rhythm,' she said.
'I like to play events that I have never played in the past. It is another experience, my first time in Perth and I am feeling very happy about this choice. We will see how it is going to happen but after the injury it is probably the best for me to compete.'
The understandably cautious Henin had few expectations to offer for the Australian Open starting January 17.
'Just the first round is going to be important for me, and then we will see step by step. Women's tennis has a lot of ups and downs and no one is dominating too.
'Serena is not going to be there, so it is going to be wide open,' Henin added. Williams withdrew injured after not playing since Wimbledon.
'I don't consider myself as one of the biggest favourites. I just see myself as one of the players in the draw.'