The press about Justine becoming number 1! -
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 2003, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up The press about Justine becoming number 1!

Henin-Hardenne relishes top spot while it lasts. By Will Gray (From

ZURICH, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Justine Henin-Hardenne was relishing her position as the new world number one on Sunday but said finishing the year in top spot would be tough.

The French and U.S. Open winner beat Jelena Dokic in the Swisscom Challenge to take over from Kim Clijsters as number one on Sunday, but the WTA said she would drop to number two again next week because of the way the ranking system works.

The points are so close between Henin-Hardenne and her Belgian compatriot that her decision not to go to Linz in Austria next week will push her back down.

But that is no concern for Henin-Hardenne, who posed with a board of tennis balls in the form of a number one after beating Dokic and re-appeared later in a pink WTA 'number one' T-shirt with her name on. (I want to see a pic of this )

"I will keep it for a week now then we will see," she said.

"I decided not to go to Linz and I am sure it was the right decision because I have to be 100 percent in a few weeks for the WTA Championships (in Los Angeles in November).

"Becoming number one is because you won grand slams and you won big events. It is not a result. It is very important, but what helped me to be number one was winning the French Open and the U.S. Open and all the other tournaments.

"So the (WTA) championships are my next goal. I will take care of my body in the next two weeks and then maybe I can finish the year as number one. Being at the top is not easy but staying at the top is going to be the most difficult," she added.

The Belgian missed out on the top spot when Clijsters beat her in the Filderstadt Grand Prix last week, but many believe she is now the rightful owner of the pedestal position.

"She has played consistently and won two grand slams this year so she definitely deserves it. Kim has played very consistently too but maybe Justine deserves a little bit more than Kim," said Dokic.


Henin-Hardenne's key moment came at the French Open in June when she beat the then world number one Serena Williams in the semi-final before defeating Clijsters for her first grand slam title.

After losing to Williams in the semi-finals at Wimbledon, which the American went on to win, she enjoyed a 22-match unbeaten run, winning tournaments in San Diego, Toronto and her second grand slam at the U.S. Open -- beating Clijsters again.

Anastasia Myskina ended her run in the final at Leipzig but, having lost just nine of her 83 matches this season, her win rate at almost 90 percent is second to none.

She puts her strong form down to a heavy fitness regime.

"I think it was about a year ago that I said to myself 'if you want to be number one and stay at the top for a long time you have to work physically very hard,'" she said.

"The level right now in women's tennis is unbelievable and you have to be 100 percent all the time. Especially as I am not so tall, I wasn't so strong so I knew I had to work harder."

That level will become even higher when Venus and Serena Williams return from injury. Neither are expected back before the end of the year so Henin-Hardenne will not meet them until January at the earliest. She cannot wait.

"I hope they will come back really soon," she said with a smile. "All the players are missing them because you want all the players at the top. They are great champions and have won so many titles so I still have to improve my game!"

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 2003, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) -- Justine Henin-Hardenne became the new No. 1 player in women's tennis, beating Jelena Dokic 6-0, 6-4 Sunday to win the Swisscom Challenge.

Henin-Hardenne will advance from No. 2 and replace Belgian countrywoman Kim Clijsters at the top when the rankings are officially released Monday. Clijsters, who lost to Dokic in the semifinals, was No. 1 for 11 weeks.

Henin-Hardenne is the 13th woman to be No. 1 since the WTA Tour rankings were introduced in 1975.

"It was a dream of mine as a child," Henin-Hardenne said before accepting the trophy and standing next to a giant board with No. 1 written in tennis balls.

The WTA said Henin-Hardenne will hold the top ranking for only a week because she withdrew from the Generali Open in Austria next week and will lose computer ranking points after winning that title last year. Henin-Hardenne cited exhaustion for pulling out.

Henin-Hardenne, the champion of the French Open and U.S. Open, won her eighth title of the year.

She had a chance to become No. 1 last week in Filderstadt, Germany, but lost the final to Clijsters.

On Sunday, Henin-Hardenne needed just 15 minutes to capture the first set, with Dokic winning just four points.

The Serbia-Montenegro player offered more resistance in the second set. She pushed Henin-Hardenne to deuce four times but squandered three break points.

Dokic's voice was shaking when she accepted the runner-up trophy. After a long slump, this was her best result in two years. She cried as she thanked her coach and entourage for sticking with her during her 18-month struggle.

and CNN

ZURICH, Switzerland (Reuters) -- Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne overtook compatriot Kim Clijsters as the women's world number one when she thumped Jelena Dokic 6-0 6-4 in the final of the Swisscom Challenge in Zurich.

Henin-Hardenne was in a class of her own against world number 25 Dokic, of Serbia Montenegro, winning her eighth tournament in 17 this year.

The U.S. and French Open champion missed out on the number one spot when she lost to Clijsters in the Filderstadt Grand Prix last weekend but made no mistake on Sunday to become Belgium's second world number one.

"It is just an amazing feeling," she said. "Now I am number one in the world it is just amazing because I did everything I could and it is a real achievement."

The first set was over within 15 minutes after Henin-Hardenne shattered Dokic's confidence, allowing her to collect just four points.

Dokic put up more of a fight in the second but Henin-Hardenne, helped by 11 aces in the match, secured the crucial break in the fifth game and won the match in 50 minutes when Dokic hit the ball long.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 2003, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Henin-Hardenne Ascends to No. 1
October 19, 2003

Belgian to become 13th No. 1 in WTA Tour history

ZURICH, Switzerland – Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne will cap a stellar last 12 months when she overtakes compatriot Kim Clijsters as the world’s No. 1 on publication of the new WTA Tour rankings on Monday, October 20, 2002 by virtue of her 60, 64 title win over Jelena Dokic in the final of the Swisscom Challenge in Zurich. Henin-Hardenne is the second Belgian in the last 11 weeks to ascend to the top of the rankings.

“All my life I have dreamed about winning Grand Slams and being No. 1 in the world. This is a very special day for me and one I will remember forever. It’s taking a while to sink in now, and I think it will take a few days to truly realize what has happened here,” said Henin-Hardenne.

Praise from her countrywoman Clijsters quickly followed, “I’m happy for her. I’ve always said that if the top ranking had to change, then it should go to another Belgian. She’s had a great year and she’s probably the most improved player on the Tour this season.”

The 21 year-old’s amazing run began with a grueling fitness program under the guidance of expert Pat Etcheberry in Tampa last December. She started her 2003 Grand Slam campaign with her best Australian Open showing (semifinals), where she scored her first career win in six meetings over Lindsay Davenport (75, 57, 97) en route. In February, Henin-Hardenne outlasted Monica Seles in a thrilling three set encounter, saving two match points, to win the title in Dubai. In April, the Belgian ended then-world No. 1 Serena Williams’ 21-match unbeaten run in the Family Circle Cup final. Another break-though win followed in Berlin, where she saved two match points to defeat Clijsters for only the third time in 10 professional meetings.

All of this culminated in Henin-Hardenne beating the world’s top two players, first Williams, then Clijsters en route to her first Grand Slam title. Serena gained revenge in the Wimbledon semifinals, but after that, Henin-Hardenne was virtually unstoppable, claiming her first title on U.S. hardcourts in San Diego, then the Canadian Open and her second Grand Slam title at the US Open, defeating No. 1 Clijsters in the final. Her 22-match win streak (longest for almost two years) was snapped by Anastasia Myskina in the final of Leipzig three weeks ago. This season Henin-Hardenne has won more singles titles (eight) and prize money (US$ 3,277,264) than any other player, male or female.

Henin-Hardenne becomes the 13th woman to ascend to the No. 1 spot since computer rankings were first introduced on November 3, 1975, joining the likes of former greats Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, and most recently the Williams sisters.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 2003, 09:56 PM
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thanks fleemke!

Good Luck In 2005:
[Martina Hingis] [Justine Henin-Hardenne]
[Cara Black] [Nadia Petrova] [Eugenia Linetskaya] [Patty Schnyder]
[Svetlana Kuznetsova] [Ai Sugiyama] [Su-Wei Hsieh] [Gisela Dulko]

[Maja Matezvic] [Karolina Sprem] [Eleni Daniilidou] [Maria Kirilenko] [Jelena Jankovic]
[Tathiana Garbin] [Timea Bacsinszky] [Kaia Kanepi] [Na Li] [Vera Douchevina]

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 2003, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by fleemke²
But that is no concern for Henin-Hardenne, who posed with a board of tennis balls in the form of a number one after beating Dokic and re-appeared later in a pink WTA 'number one' T-shirt with her name on. (I want to see a pic of this )

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 2003, 09:58 AM
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2003, 08:25 AM
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For French speaking people, there was this wonderful, laudatory article in the Swiss newspaper Le Matin. I am afraid I have no time to translate it, but for those of you who speak French, you will definitely enjoy it !

Tennis. Mme Henin-Hardenne est devenue la 13e numéro un mondiale.En battant sèchement Jelena Dokic en finale, la «petite» joueuse belge n'a laissé planer aucun doute: elle est bien la meilleure joueuse du monde
19 octobre 2003

Frappé d'un énorme chiffre «1», le T-shirt rose a déteint sur les joues, légèrement colorées de Justine Henin. La «petite» Belge est heureuse et ne cachera pas son bonheur du jour. Heureuse et fière du «travail accompli» - ce sont ses propres mots -, et de tout ce qui s'en est suivi. Numéro un mondiale! «Si, en début d'année, quelqu'un m'avait dit que je remporterais deux tournois Grand Chelem et que je deviendrais numéro un mondiale, je l'aurais traité de fou!» affirme Justine Henin. Qui, elle, n'est pas folle, loin s'en faut. Et qui, surtout, s'est jurée de garder la tête froide: «Il y a eu, dit-elle, beaucoup de pression, sur et autour de moi, ces dernières semaines. Je savais, je sentais que c'était possible, que quelque chose de grand pouvait advenir. C'était à la fois une situation dangereuse, parce qu'enivrante, et difficile à gérer. Ainsi, lundi dernier, lorsque je suis arrivée ici à Zurich, je n'étais pas bien du tout. J'avais le sentiment d'être passée à côté de quelque chose (n.d.l.r.: au lendemain de sa défaite face à Kim Clijsters en finale du tournoi de Filderstadt). J'avais disputé un très bon match, mais je l'avais perdu. Et, avec ce match, j'avais également perdu une occasion, la première de ma carrière, de devenir numéro un mondiale. Cela m'a pris deux jours à me remettre. Deux jours pour me persuader que j'aurai d'autres occasions, que tout ne s'était pas arrêté à Filderstadt. Et qu'il fallait que je me remette à l'ouvrage...»
L'ouvrage restera à jamais estampillé de cette vingtième édition du tournoi de Zurich-Kloten. Et là, pas de doute, c'est une manière de chef-d'oeuvre, finale d'hier comprise, dont il s'est agi. Du plus beau, du plus pur, mais aussi du plus efficace tennis que l'on puisse produire, aujourd'hui, sur le circuit féminin.
Parce qu'elle rendait près de vingt centimètres et une bonne quinzaine de kilos aux deux soeurs Williams, presque autant à Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin s'est retrouvée contrainte à explorer d'autres voies que celles, désormais classiques, dans lesquelles se sont engouffrées les «frappeuses» des Temps modernes. Elle le dit, d'ailleurs, avec un certain sourire: «Je sais que, même si je travaille beaucoup, je ne serai jamais aussi puissante que... les autres. Mais je sais aussi que lorsque je suis bien sur mes jambes, lorsque le corps suit, j'ai le jeu pour rivaliser avec les meilleures.» Et les battre, souvent.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2003, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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PARIS, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Twelve months ago Martina Hingis played the final match of a career that earned her five grand slam titles and the number one tag for three years. She was 22.

Last weekend Justine Henin-Hardenne reached number one after winning the French Open and the U.S. Open. She is 21.

Both women are slight but whereas Hingis, plagued by an ankle injury, appeared to give up in the face of a new army of power-hitters, Henin-Hardenne has adapted her game, her body and her mind to the challenge.

After finding tennis oh-so-easy in 1997 and 1998, Hingis was blown off course and increasingly off the court by Venus Williams. The Swiss won her last grand slam in Australia in early 1999 and when Serena "arrived" at the end of 2001, Hingis suddenly became an anachronism in women's tennis.

Her clever, chess-like approach could not withstand the Williams sisters' cudgelling from both sides of the court and, as her legs gave her increasing problems, she was unable to change her game to arrest the decline.

At Wimbledon in 2001, Hingis lost in the first round for the second time in three years. Venus Williams, the defending champion, charged into the final where she met Henin-Hardenne, very much a surprise finalist.


No one could miss the obvious physical disparity between the two women and Henin-Hardenne, after recovering from losing the first set 6-1 to win the second, ran out of strength in the third to go down 6-0.

Unlike Hingis, the Belgian decided that if you can't beat them, you should try and join them. Over the past two years she has made herself more able to slug it out from the baseline for long periods and in the build-up to this season she worked in Florida with Pete Sampras's former trainer Pat Etcheberry.

This season she has been a revelation, physically at her peak as she showed at Roland Garros by defeating Serena Williams in the semi-final and fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters in the final.

Serena took her revenge in the Wimbledon semis before beating her sister in the final. With both Williamses absent through injury at Flushing Meadows, Henin-Hardenne won the title by beating Clijsters in the final again.

"I'm not afraid anymore about the power of the other players because I'm powerful too. I think that everybody knows it right now," she said.

Whereas there were always question marks over Hingis's mental strength after her tantrums at the French Open and Wimbledon in 1999, Henin-Hardenne's has never been in doubt.

No stranger to personal difficulties and tragedy as a child, she has the look of a warrior and never gives up, an aspect of her personality which seems to spook Clijsters in particular.


Henin-Hardenne's recovery to win the U.S. Open final, after being put on a drip after her exhausting semi-final defeat of Jennifer Capriati, was one of the feats of the sporting year.

The Belgian is also strengthened by the support and advice she gets from the small entourage of her husband Pierre-Yves and her coach Carlos Rodriguez.

With hindsight, Hingis's confidence never recovered from her split in 1999 with her mother and coach Melanie Molitor following her defeat in the French Open final by Steffi Graf.

They patched up their differences but she never won another major title.

While Henin-Hardenne basks in being number one, she will be rated the best player in the world only when she beats Venus and particularly Serena on a regular basis.

Neither of the sisters has been seen on the tour since the Wimbledon final -- Venus hurt her stomach during the tournament and Serena had a knee operation in August. In addition they are mourning their elder sister who was shot dead last month.

Clijsters, number one before Henin-Hardenne, believes Serena remains the best player around and says both sisters are missed.

"They've had a huge influence on how the game has changed. They made it more athletic and powerful and forced all of us to get better. I hope we see them back soon," Clijsters said.

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US Open '03,'07 / Australian Open '04
Olympic Gold '04 /
YEC Madrid '06,'07
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2003, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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From her diary on

Justine's diary after Zürich...The impressions of the world's new number 1!

Dearest friends,

At this moment, while writing you, I feel like the happiest girl on earth. If they told me at the beginning of the season that I would become the number 1 of the world in October 2003, I wouldn’t believed it. Today it became reality; a little girl’s dream came true.

The pressure at the Filderstadt tournament was huge. I was very close but I had a lack of serenity and patience. In Zürich, I was very nervous too but I had it all under control. I played match by match without thinking about the further consequences. And now it’s given a concrete form to it, I did my very best, it’s great. In the meantime, I know that life goes on. I am surrounded by people I love and believe in me, that’s the most important. My next aim is going to Los Angeles and doing my very best so that I can finish the year maybe on that same number 1 spot.

I want to thank Carlos and Pierre-Yves.Without them, I couldn’t make it this far.

Thank you for your eternal support.

I hope I can provide you with some great moments in the upcoming weeks

See you very soon.


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US Open '03,'07 / Australian Open '04
Olympic Gold '04 /
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