Former World No. 1 Justine Henin, of Belgium, speaks about the important role her coach Carlos Rodriguez played in her career, in an upcoming television feature on her. According to the RTBF website, Henin says Rodriguez helped her believe in herself even when she did not have the self confidence in herself.
"Carlos was the guarantor of the confidence that I did not always have in me. He was the only one, who was for me, a great tennis coach and especially on the mental level, he showed me that he believed in me."
Justine Henin started working with Carlos Rodriguez when she was 14 years old
Henin says Rodriguez used different methods to get the best out of her, and looking back on hindsight, she appreciates their collaboration even more.
"It was a chance in my life to meet someone who trusted me along the way. The strongest message that he conveyed to me was his commitment by my side... a lot of family sacrifices.. he believed in me. He wanted to help me achieve my dreams, my goals.
He also did it for him. We built a relationship of trust. It was not easy. There has never been a money relationship between us, never, never ... To develop this relationship, grow together, learn from each other, it was something important."
Henin also spoke about the differences in their relationship but she knows he always had her best interests at heart. "As a friend, he is one of the people who knows me best and I also accepted that everything would not be perfect in our relationship, that everything would not be easy and I assumed that he was there for my good.
And history has shown me that I was right, that this trust was not betrayed. It was a very strong partnership and many people thought that Carlos had an influence on me, which was true but when I look at all that it has brought me and regardless of the tennis results, I have no regrets to have built a relationship in which we both grew up.
" Justine Henin was No. 1 for a total of 117 weeks and was the year-end No. 1 in 2003, 2006 and 2007. She first met her coach Carlos Rodríguez, who guided her career both before her retirement in 2008 and during her 2010 comeback, shortly after her mother's death in 1995.