Although still only 21, Justine Henin-Hardenne had a superb year winning three Grand Slam events – the French Open and the US Open in 2003 and the Australian Open in 2004. She won six other tournaments in 2003 and following her victory in Zurich in October, she became World No.1 in the WTA rankings. She beat her fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters in all three Grand Slam finals, her only disappointment being beaten in the semi-finals at Wimbledon by Serena Williams.
Her finest performance was in the US Open where she beat Clijsters just 20 hours after beating Jennifer Capriati in a three-hour semi-final that left her on an intravenous drip suffering from dehydration. Justine received a severe emotional blow when her mother died of cancer in 1995, an event which some feel imbued her with mental courage.