Translation follows. It's not very good, but I hope everyone can understand it.
Fed Cup in Bree
Kim and in
Bree - 12-03-2002 (03/12/2002)
Clijsters demands and gets professional organisation Fed Cup 2003
The die is cast: the first round of the Fed Cup 2003 against Austria (april 26-27) will be held in
Bree, and with
Kim Clijsters. Two very satisfying conclusions. "Consequently, I have been demanding a professional organisation," father Lei Clijsters says.
Justine Henin had already agreed, in principle anyway, to take part in the Fed Cup Campaign of next year. Yesterday Lei Clijsters confirmed that his oldest daughter will at least attend the first confrontation. Battle area will be the Expodroom in Bree.
Bree is Kim's hometown, of course, but the choice is not merely symbolic. The only one-year-old sports complex happens to be an excellent location: 3,000 seats and commercially attractive boxes, in stands which are very close to the arena - so one can be assured of a lively atmosphere. Bob Verbeeck's bureau Octagon-Cis handles everything; they have the experience, since they also handle the WTA tournament in Antwerp and the exhibition matches of the last two years between Clijsters and Henin.
"Last year, when Belgium played Australia in Ukkel, the organisation was sub-standard," Lei Clijsters says. "Unattractive commercially speaking, uncomfortable for the public. Not surprisingly, there never were more than 1,500 people. That's just not acceptable when you have players of the quality of Kim and Justine."
"The players also had cause for complaint. Security, for instance, was non-existent. That's no longer acceptable. It isn't as bad as with that stalker of Serena Williams yet, but still... The top players can't do without bodyguards anymore - not during tournaments. There is almost always some lunatic on the loose, somewhere..."
"Only last week I went to the police for a talk. Every day, Kim receives up to sixty letters and countless telephone calls. Most are okay. Some, however, really aren't. Sometimes, at night, cars stop right in front of the house, standing there for a few minutes before they drive away again. I asked the police if there was anything I could do about that."