Coach: Henin wasn't 'ready' to win final

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Justine Henin wasn't physically or mentally ready to win a Grand Slam final, according to her coach Carlos Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was proud of Henin after Saturday's loss to Serena Williams in the Australian Open final, but admitted she was still up to six months away from returning to the top.

"I think we can see on the court today she's not ready to beat somebody like Serena,'' Rodriguez said. "Maybe in three or four or six months, I don't know, (she needs) more matches. Emotional situation like tonight, maybe she's going to be ready then.''

Rodriguez started guiding Henin's career in 1995 and has been instrumental during her comeback.

He said Henin, who lost to Williams in three sets, would now take a break to work on improving her game.

"(We're) disappointed because we always try to win,'' he said. "But I think the best player won today. That's the first thing to say, she's better than Justine. Now for me and Justine we try to find out how we going to do better in the next match or in the next month.

"We're going to stop now and work on the physical skills and more specific things in her game. "Maybe take a little bit more time to find a way to manage different situations also. Not only a question of technique, try to manage this emotions and the tactics to serve. I cannot say better for sure but (we need to improve) the serve and important points.''

Henin should return to the top 40 now and Rodriguez is hopeful she may sneak in for a seeding at the French Open.

She has only played two tournaments so far, the other being Brisbane where she was also a finalist.

"You never know, still two or three tournaments to go before they put ranking up there,'' Rodriguez said. "Even in claycourts I prefer she's seeded if we do the right job.

"It's very difficult but we already withdraw from two (tournaments), Sydney and Dubai. If she continue to perform like this she can go further. She has to work but also she has to open-minded a little bit and not just think about tennis but other things. Also how she approach a new career.''