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Although Graf lost, the experience impressed Henin.

Since then, Henin has idolised Graf as her role model.

In the final, she saved three match points in the third set before defeating Clijsters.

At the French Open, she was the fourth seeded player and defeated the defending champion, Serena Williams, in a controversial semifinal 6–2, 4–6, 7–5 which saw Henin failing to acknowledge her raised hand during Williams service motion.

Henin's mother routinely took the young Henin across the border to France to watch the French Open.

Following a conflict between Justine and her father over her tennis career and her relationship with Pierre-Yves Hardenne, Rodríguez soon became not only her trainer but in some ways a second father figure. In 1997, she won the junior girls' singles title at the French Open.

In 2002, she reached four WTA finals, winning two of them, and finished the year ranked world No. Her German Open victory, her first win at a Tier I tournament, was noteworthy as she beat Jennifer Capriati in a semifinal and Serena Williams in the final, the then No. She then lost to Venus Williams in the semifinals in straight sets.

Henin also lost to Clijsters in the semifinals of the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp.

At the Tier I Acura Classic in San Diego, the third-seeded Henin defeated the top-seeded Clijsters in the final.

Two weeks later at the Tier I Rogers Cup in Toronto, she defeated Russia's Lina Krasnoroutskaya in the final. She won her first four matches against unseeded players before defeating seventh-seeded Anastasia Myskina in the quarterfinals and then defeated sixth-seeded Jennifer Capriati in the semifinals 4–6, 7–5, 7–6(4) in a match that lasted more than three hours and stretched to midnight.

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