Justine Henin: Young players are starting to fear Serena Williams less

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Justine Henin: Young players are starting to fear Serena Williams less

Former world No. 1 Justine Henin believes the young players don't fear Serena Williams as much as they used to in the past. Williams, 40, hasn't won a Grand Slam since the 2017 Australian Open and she hasn't played since Wimbledon due to a hamstring injury.

“The young players are starting to fear Serena Williams less,” Henin told Eurosport. “We were afraid of Serena in my era. And a lot of girls continued to be afraid of her for years. Now it's just not the case anymore and certainly she feels it.

"You can feel that her attitude on court has changed. There is les self-befieff, there is less confidence and potentially we can ask is there still the same drive, the same desire? “And frankly, we are allowed to answer 'no'

That does not take anything from her and she remains someone exceptional in all that she has accomplished. That will never change. “And maybe she's at that point. Maybe she's in that phase of her life where maybe it's potentially time to move on”.

Henin on Williams' Grand Slam chances

Henin absolutely sees Williams is a great champion but she would not be surprised if the American never again won a Grand Slam. “I'm starting to have to be convinced, that the quest that she had set herself to go and win more Grand Slams, at least one Grand Slam, won't happen.

But it's always hard to answer ‘100 per cent it's not going to happen," Henin added. “And because all the time, I want to say that I remember Serena Williams is from my generation, my time and she's still here.

“She gave me so much trouble that I still want to believe that Serena is capable of anything. But you have to be realistic. Maybe she's also discovering a new life today. Life can be wonderful after tennis. “So it will depend on her physical condition obviously, and on her will to do what it takes.

She's getting older and there are young players who are very physical. I think it's going to get harder and harder, if not impossible”.

Justine Henin Serena Williams