Rxn on the message board to Justine - a little sanity - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Rxn on the message board to Justine - a little sanity

A lot of what comes out of Justine's mouth is maybe not-so-positive, but it's also just after matches. What you say when you're sore, tired, and just went through something highly emotional is not what you say normally. You're responsible for it, but circumstances do matter.

If she were a guy, we'd say Justine has pretty classic 'little man syndrome'. Small athletes sometimes get an attitude when they ALWAYS have to compete against increasingly bigger athletes. (Bear in mind, the great 'We' have been wrong before this.)

But perhaps, Justine's recent behaviour is not wholely out of the ordinary, much as we might hate to admit it.

Justine's first GS title was not met with the universal acclaim one might have expected, largely, but by no means entirely, because of her own behaviour. In the USA, there was more ink about the crowd and Justine's sportmanship than there was about her game. I'm sure that wasn't true in Belgium, but we're a slightly bigger market. Anyway you slice it, when you win RG, you expect headlines that read 'CHAMPION'. Not 'cheat', 'poor sport', 'racist crowd', etc. Justine beat a player who had won five straight GS titles, and people were already comparing (favorably, which is insane) to Steffi Graf.

And instead of adulation, she gets this crap. If I were her, I wouldn't be wasting my time being nice to people either.

Comparisons are tough, because most players have unique circumstance. Still, compare reactions to other players winning their GS titles. The difference is startling.

The closest example I guess would be Venus winning Wimbledon 2000. First GS title, foreign country, already established top five player. I live here, so it's hard to know what the all 'foreign' press said. Certainly there were no accusations of cheating or poor sportsmanship that time. (Not that Venus hasn't suffered her fair share of accusations.)

Monica, Martina Hingis and Serena all won their first so young that the press was all writng about them winning so young.
Lindsay was an American winning the US Open.
Jenn was a walking soap opera.

Winning your first GS title is in many ways a coronation. As long as they keep tennis records, your name is going to be on the books. It's a 'glory' moment. To an extent, Justine had that taken away.

It's sort of like when that person jumped into the Olympic Marathon toward then end and ran into the stadium well ahead of the real leader. A huge cheer went up, as it always does. When the real leader entered the stadium, fully expecting that emotional surge form the crowd, it never happened. Of course, the deception was discovered almost immediately, and the correct person was awarded the gold medal. But you can't get back the moment when 50,000 people SHOULD have been cheering you for something you've worked all you life to accomplish, and they aren't.

Note the 'sort of'.

Anyway, the Justine-bashing has passed, in my eyes, from legitemacy to (virtual, of course) lynch mob. People are criticizing Justine now for the 'fun' of saying nasty things about someone else. And of course, for the fun of tweaking Justine fans, because of percieved or actual slights involving THEIR faves form Justine's fans.

Last I checked, Justine hadn't killed anyone, joined a far-right hate group, kicked a dog or get caught pulling the wings off flies.

Poor sportsmanship is not a crime and it isn't exclusive to Justine.

In tennis, have you NEVER called a ball out that maybe clipped the line?

In volleyball, do you call yourself EVERY time you inadvertently touch the net?

In basketball, how often do you REALLY foul your opponent? (Not 'what did the ref call?')

There IS that 'speck in your neighbor's eye, log in your own' thing, y'know.

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Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 01:04 PM
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firstly, i want to stipulate that i'm not a fan of henin-hardenne's. i admire her talent but she isn't my favorite by a long shot.

i think some of the reactions have been valid. based on transcripts of her interviews, these posters formulated opinions. some favorable, some not.

i think some of the reactions are based on other agendas. their dislike for henin-hardenne has nothing to do with her comments. the posters holding these opinions are just upset that, in recent months, henin-hardenne has become a threat to the rest of the tour.

lastly, as i've said on a previous thread, i wish native english speakers were more lenient re: language. english isn't the mother tongue of 70% of (that's a guess) the tour and some of them didn't learn english formally so there will be mistakes in grammar and most importantly, intent. a phrase like "get out of my car" while rude in english may be seen as humorous in another language.
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 01:24 PM
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I find it completely typical of WTAWorld that a thread like this, with two of the best posters posting stuff that makes perfect sense, gets so little reaction in comparison to all the moronic flame threads. Nothing really to say except: I reiterate what Volcana and doloresc have to say, but really don't expect all that many here to be as sensible about it all.

Allez Justine
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 01:29 PM
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Good posts
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 01:43 PM
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Have to add my 2 cents!

Yes, all of the above posts are excellent and I agree with Sartrista that is an sad indication of this place as to how they have been ignored.

However, I must point out that Henin's FO win was not at all 'tainted' in the UK. Possibly because tennis is only really on peoples minds over here during Wimbledon! But for those who did know who won the FO, I seriously doubt that the hand incident was high on their list of after dinner subjects!

Americans do have a tendancy to be very sensitive when it comes to how their people are treated around the world. And the fact that it was only the American commentators that constantly kept bringing up the hand incident during Wimbledon merely highlights this.

While it is conceivable that there are other fans around the world who have been 'put off' Justine by what happened, I do think you will find that the majority are American, because in their eyes it was an American who was cheated.

I was in Florida during the FO and was amazed at how interest plummeted once the americans were all out!
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 01:44 PM
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Volcana, great post. I too have the feeling that this board is getiing into a "lynch mob". And I have actually the feeling that what Justine sometimes says about the players (that they don't like it that she beats them because of her physique), is also true for the fans: I have the feeling that many fans are threatened by the fact that that tiny player from Belgium can beat their favs.

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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 02:04 PM
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The sad/interesting thing was, Pat McEnroe decided to bring up the French Open semifinal controversy again as he was commentating on the Acura Classic Final last week. This was just after it was mentioned that Justine had won a GS this year. Volcana's theory of Justine being one of the only GS champions not to be treated like one makes sense...some sections of the press still haven't let go of the controversy in Paris and mentioning it in the same breath as her victory will have the desired effect of negating any real 'deserved' adulation. Now anything she does on court is a 'trick' or 'gamesmanship'. People still don't seem be able to decide whether that time out was necessary. That's not the point--you shouldn't be accused of trickery when you have your blisters retaped. Seems like the girl is condemned never to take a bathroom break without suspicion.

Leave what happened in Paris, in Paris. If you've made up your mind about not liking Justine's character, then watch her for the tennis she can produce--as should you for any other player.

Last edited by caelestia; Aug 6th, 2003 at 02:12 PM.
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 02:10 PM
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Really great post, Volcana! & great replies!! Nice to see that!!
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 02:21 PM
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its sad to see the players being treated how we treat them...but this says a few things

1) theyve made it
2) people are jealous

a big deal is made out of such small things, that we often dont see the greatness of the accomplishments of these players....Henin a slam champ was overshadowed by that damn semi final, Henin winning her first hc title on US soil over the player of the moment was overshadowed by a damn injury time out, the defending champ of the USO undergoing surgery was overshadowed by Kim surging to the #1 spot (maybe thats a bad example. a belgian getting to #1 IS a big deal. but at this point the #1 is out of the next slam)
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 02:22 PM
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i didn't care to answer any of the numerous threads following the acura final. it seemed astonishing to me that nobody even mentioned that they, you know, enjoyed the match. i know i did. the amount of comments on what happens "backstage" and what happens on court seems so unbalanced.
i find myself being irritated by justine quite often. but i also know that those things don't matter, as long as i enjoy watching her play tennis. and it IS still a joy to watch her.



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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 02:25 PM
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Very wonderful thread going on here and such well thought out responses.

I agree, though. I think that a lot of what is going on now has really taken away ALOT from Justine's capabilities and tennis talents. Now that she's won another title after RG, people are looking for away to diminish her win against Kim just because of what happened in the RG semifinals. As much as it is difficult for people to truly understand the legitimacy of her win because of "once a cheater always a cheater", the extent to which she has been ridiculed, disrespected, and have her tennis underrated is just ridiculous. She won her first hardcourt tournament on US Soil against the future no.1 player and the onyl that came out of people's mouth is the question of her gamesmanship. I think it's time to get over what happened in Paris because holding on to that bias personally makes tennis a little less enjoyable.

Justine played marvelously in the second and last set of the Acura final. Justine played an amazing comback against Dementieva in the 4th round, but people are still harkering back to lying and cheating and whatever else which are all just specualtion anyway.
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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 02:29 PM
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Beat: the drama was good in the final.....the tennis quality on the other hand wasnt both girls are more than capable of getting a POSITIVE W/UFE more times than not. we havent seen the best from them yet
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 02:44 PM
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I'm a justine fan, and in a way i'm very happy with all the craps people are saying about her.
Why? because it will make her stronger. Now she wanna proove the world that she was indeed the best player at the french open this year. She wanna proove them all that she was indeed better than clijsters in san diego. She wanna proove everybody that they were wrong.
That's the way justine ' s head work. The fans that followed her carreer for some time know what i'm talkin' about : she ALWAYS keep surprising us. When you think she's down, she come back stronger, all the time.
Some examples are her final in wimby in 2001. 1 month before she scored one of the biggest choke in rg history. People were already calling her the new Novotna. 1 week later she beat clijsters in the rosmalen final, then end capriati 's bid for the calendar slam and reach the final. In april 2002 she chocked big time against Venus in amelia island. At the time people wonder if she would ever win a + than tier3 title. 3 weeks later she won her first tier1 title beating serena in the final.
she has overcome A LOT of painful moments in her life and in her career, but those experiences made her stronger. That's where is fighting attitude come from.

second reason i'm happy with people accusing of justine cheating all the time is that , at one point , they will realise how RIDICULOUS they are always bringing that up. They will realise that she doesn't need to not tell the umpire she raise her hand to win 90% of her matches ( which is her record this year). They will admit that when her opponents are accusing of suspicious injury time out, it' s because they are frustrated loser. So they will apologise and stop ever questionning her behaviour.

and the last reason i'm glad with people disliking her now is because it means she can't stop winning.

Last edited by minboy; Aug 6th, 2003 at 02:49 PM.
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 02:53 PM
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"some sections of the press still haven't let go of the controversy in Paris and mentioning it in the same breath as her victory will have the desired effect of negating any real 'deserved' adulation. Now anything she does on court is a 'trick' or 'gamesmanship'"

Just the commentators/sports writers? Didn't Kim, who isn't from the States, allude to the fact that she thinks justine uses gamesmanship to throw her opponents off? Would she know more about that than the avg. fan? Commentator? I think so. I also think Kim was upset w/this lose(loose) and started shooting off at the mouth. I do think that justine took a legitimate time-out, and at an appropriate time(between sets). justine's past actions caused Kim to bring them up during this tournament.

justine is a talented player, she's run off at the mouth enough, pump ya brakes and let your tennis speak for itself.

"Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated" - George Bernard Shaw

"And for the best of the teen-agers who followed her, and who occasionally referred to her as over the hill, Graf had a ready answer: against top-ranked Martina Hingis, Graf wound up 7-2. Graf's stirring 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 throttling of Hingis at the French Open final this June was perhaps the most emphatic parting shot the game has ever seen. "

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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 02:56 PM
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That's true that Justine always surprises her fans!!
In the begginning of the year her fans hoped that she'll win 2-3 tournys this year, it's already been 5!!
Not many from us believed she will win Acura Classic, she did!! So, allez Justine, keep surprising us!!
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