Justine Henin says there is no venue for tennis quite like Flushing Meadows and believes the best players can use the special atmosphere to their advantage. The Belgian was a seven-time Grand Slam champion during a decorated career, two of those coming at the US Open - in 2003 and 2007.
She concedes that she was taken aback by the fans in New York during her first visits to the venue, but she soon learned to enjoy the occasion. And Henin believes harnessing that atmosphere can be the secret to lifting the trophy at the end of the fortnight.
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"The US Open is a long story for me. In the first few years it was really tough for me to play in New York," Henin told Omnisport . "As a little girl from Belgium I was shy and the culture is different. It was tough for me to feel comfortable but year after year I started to understand the New York fans better.
"The energy in the stadium is amazing. If you're not focussed you can be distracted. It took me a few years, then I started to love the tournament.
"That match against [Jennifer] Capriati in the semifinal in 2003 really changed my vision of the tournament. I had a lot of support. I was only 21, it was fantastic.
"The energy you feel in that stadium is pretty unique. If you can take advantage of this, it is amazing."
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