Why do you think Justine is so disliked by many fans and clearly some topplayers? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Why do you think Justine is so disliked by many fans and clearly some topplayers?

I wonder why. Justine is number 3 on the world ranking, she won a slam and several more titles. Still she's underestimated. In many polls I see things like: she has no chance, Serena is way better, Kim is ..bla bla.

Justine keeps surprising by winning matches everyone expects she would lose. Why is she underestimated?

Is she correct with her comment that the big strong players don't like to lose from a small "fragile" girl? Or do they think she can only play well on clay?

what do you think?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 03:20 PM
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Because other fan base think that their player is better than Justine, but when Justine break through and make some surprise, they just immature and hardly accepting the fact.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 03:24 PM
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Good question(s) K.

I don't really care what players say after matches they lost to her. I love a bit of drama between players... Justine has started some drama too

I don't think that she is right that the big strong players don't like to lose from a small fragile girl? I think the topplayers don't want to lose, period. And now that Justine is beating them more and more on a regular basis, they don't like it. And that's how it should be!!

The fans is a totally different story. I think she is disliked by fans for a combination of factors:

1. Her personality: she wants to win desperately and some people don't really like that.
2. Her actions on court (the "hand" thing for instance), reactions to other players, ...: don't like this from Justine either, but I guess it's a result of number 1.
3. Her physique: I think a lot of fans of the big power players are threatened that such a tiny player can beat their player on a regular basis.

So, if fans underestimate her it's mainly because of her height I think. I'm pretty sure the other players don't underestimate her anymore though

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 04:04 PM
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I do think there is a point in the 'little girl thing'. For the past years I was often frustrated when legends (not John ) and other players were talking about the new generation and the players who were going to be on the top in the next years. It was always Venus, Serena, Kim, Jen, Lindsay, ... Justine was rarely mentioned. They didn't count Justine in it and then it became 2003 and Justine started to beat al those powerbabes one by one ... Well I can imagine it hurts ...
It's the same with the fans imo nobody gives Justine a chance in every match (look at the polls from San Diego) because she isn't powerfull enough blablabla ... and than Justine comes on the courts and kicks some asses .. painfull

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 07:30 PM
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Where do I start?
Well first of all you have to make a distinction between the outside world and this board. Maybe I'm wrong, but this board has more flemish than walloon members, so Justine is a bit disadvantaged in that aspect. And on this board everyone has a fav and that will always create quarrels.

There are two Belgian players in the top 5 so it's inevitable that particularly those two are compared with each other. Through the years it has become clear that Kim and Justine are really opposite in almost everything. Justine isn't as good at socializing like Kim is. I think her true friends on tour are Amelie Mauresmo, Nathalie Dechy, Sandrine Testud (before retiring) and other french players. Nathalie and Sandrine were present at her wedding so that tells a lot.
In the WTA world almost everything is done in the English language. The most important press conferences, interviews, victory speeches etc. The least you can say is that Justine isn't a great talker and it always seems to me she hates doing interviews. The only place she wants to shine on is on the court and the other things that come with the job are clearly ballast for her.

But the real turning point is of course Serena's interview after the french open semi this year. It was a very different Serena from after her victory over Amelie. Like we all know she cried because of her loss and accused Justine of "lying and fabricating". Imho Justine didn't do anything wrong at the FO. It was just an "unlucky" series of events in a split of seconds. Serena was about to serve, the stupid (Belgian part of the) crowd grew extremely noisy and so Justine held her hand up to await the silence. Serena missed her first serve, umpire said he didn't see it and Justine wasn't asked about it. Of course in hindsight it would be better that Justine approached the net and explained it. But I never see topplayers do much talking to the umpire during a match, except to complain about a call. So after the french open most Serena and Venus fans turned against Justine, which is understandable. What your fav says, goes.

And finally in the future Justine and especially her coach Carlos should be more careful what they say, also in Belgian interviews. I've noticed the world of tennis journalism is very small. So every sentence that comes out of your mouth is picked up, sometimes taken out of context, sometimes translated wrong and travels to the other end of the world.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 08:49 PM
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It's taken me a bit by suprise too, because until fairly recently Justine was one of the most universally liked of the top 10. Seriously - look at threads from 2000-2002 and you'll see fans of all the other players expressing respect for her game and especially her backhand.

I think that there are many reasons why she's disliked and not everyone who dislikes her does so because of all of these, but here are some:

1. She's reserved. She clearly doesn't like talking about herself or her background much. Notice especially that no matter how many times she's asked she hardly ever says anything about her mother's death or her relationship with her father. Many people take this for arrogance. It happened to Steffi Graf too. People assume that she thinks she's above them, when in fact (I think anyway) she's just a very private person.

2. She's a real threat to the top players now. She has a GS, she's improved so much and she's still working hard. Every player and every fan group is going to resent that a little. Up till this year she'd been the petite underdog in her matches and fans of other players rooted for her, now she's expected to win and she's doing it. They don't like that. It's happened to every player when they rose to the top. People couldn't stand Seles when she came onto the scene, Hingis was disliked by many fans/players too. Serena & Venus both get disliked for this reason too; the main reason that Kim doesn't is because (sorry to any Kim fans) she isn't as big a threat at the Slams or against the Williamses or Justine.

3. She's not particularly attractive. I think she's quite cute, but it has to be said that she's nowhere near as striking/attractive as the rest of the top ten (with the exception of Kim). I think this counts against her as far as the fans are concerned.

4. On-court actions. Although, personally I suspect that the hand and the blister incidents have been more incidents to pin fans' already decided dislike of her on, I guess I have to include them.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 08:52 PM
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Oh, and:

5. The media have made such a big fuss about her "tragic life" and how such a little girl is doing so well, blah, blah. And this irritates some people. Heck, it irritates me & I'm a fan!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 09:40 PM
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I think it's a combination of things-

1. She has this little tomboy arrogance which pisses off the traditional tennis fan who is only happy worshipping the endless stream of blonde two-fisted backhand Chrissie clones, and anyone who comes along and blows right through that stereotype is seen as evil and out of line;

2. She uses gamesmanship just like every other player in the top 10, only she makes no excuses and (like John McEnroe and Billie Jean King before her) doesn't need the approval of the rest of the world- this combined with #1 makes even more traditional conformists very angry;

3. She has done more with her little frame than any of the players around her- imagine what Jennifer could do with that serve, or Lindsay with that court movement and competitive fighting desire?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 2003, 12:31 PM
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Here's an example about how people thought about Justine 1.5 years ago


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 2003, 04:14 PM
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I don't think she's dislike by top players. Lindsay never said anything wrong about her. Serena said what happened is Paris stay in Paris, and kim just made such comments because of her dissapointment ( at least that's what marc dehous said )
I think all the craps who can read on this board and in the papers does have way too much effect on people's mind!!!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 2003, 08:58 AM
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First of all, I don't think we can actually know if Justine is liked or not by the other topplayers... In fact I don't think it's possible to have good friend at the top (okay, that a cliché ).
As for Justine's fan-base. A big part of this board is either American or Kim fan ... I think that makes it quite obvious why THEY don't like Justine. Justine was such a sweet wonderfull little girl with marvellous technique... BUT as soon as she starts beating their faves (Serena, Lyndsay, Jen, Kim) ... they try to change her into a cheating little...
Well, I guess that's just normal. Wait untill Kim starts beating Serena and Venus (if that ever happens) ... I'm shure she won't be seen as a little angel any longer...
What I'm trying to say is that succes always brings along envy,... and this board is just a microculture of superfans of different players, and some of those fans don't mind to bash other people's favs... That doesn't mean Justine isn't liked by the 'general public' Whenever you see a Justine-match the public is admiering her and cheering her on ('even after RG) ... so as much as some people would like to see the fragile Justine back,... they will have to face that she has now become a strong (physically and mentally) player who is STILL loved by the crowd.
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