Sat, Jul 05, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Serena puts French Open upset firmly behind her

REUTERS , LONDON

Never one to digest her losses easily, Serena Williams has used her painful defeat at the French Open to spur her on at Wimbledon.

The defending Wimbledon champion was bidding to win her fifth grand slam title on the trot at Roland Garros but a resolute Justine Henin-Hardenne ended Serena's Paris campaign in the semifinals.

The defeat also ruined the American's chances of achieving a calendar year grand slam in 2003.

"It [the defeat in Paris] has definitely helped me as I went home and worked harder than normal," said Serena after charging through to her second consecutive All England Club final with a 6-3 6-2 win over Henin on Thursday.

"I was definitely more focused and realized there are players out there that I have to be on my toes with."

"I'm just really excited to be in the finals again of a grand slam. I just want to fight and do the best I can. I've been able to realize at the French that you can't always make it to the final.

"So that now that I'm back, it's definitely exciting. It's just another step, another day to keep fighting."

Henin believes Serena's opponent in the final will have to work hard to wrest the title from her.

"I think she just proved that she is No. 1 in the world," she said.

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