Belgian Duo Search for Supremacy at U.S. Open -
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2003, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
tennisIlove09's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 44,073
Belgian Duo Search for Supremacy at U.S. Open

Belgian Duo Search for Supremacy at U.S. Open
Sun Aug 24, 4:31 PM ET Add Sports - Reuters to My Yahoo!

By Stephen Wood

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne are the rival countrywomen who require success at the U.S. Open (news - web sites) not only to sate their own ambitions but to gain the upper hand in their personal rivalry.

Capitalizing on the absence of Serena Williams (news - web sites), who is recovering from knee surgery, Clijsters seized the world number one ranking when she won the WTA title in Los Angeles earlier this month.

Although no-one denied the amiable 20-year-old such an honor, it was quickly pointed out that she was the first number one not to have a grand slam title on her resume.

As a character, Henin-Hardenne is harder to relate to, so much so that she has been compared to both Martina Hingis (news) and world heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis by media in recent weeks.

But while Henin-Hardenne has one major title to her name -- this year's French Open (news - web sites) after a sweet victory over Clijsters in the final -- the world number three remains an enigmatic figure.

Victory at Flushing Meadows would help correct that imbalance, although the 21-year-old will have to overcome a great deal in New York, not least an unsupportive crowd.

They are expected to give Henin-Hardenne a rowdy reception to avenge her behavior toward Serena Williams in the American's controversial semi-final defeat at Roland Garros in June.

Clijsters has won many admirers for her demeanor and, while once she may have been referred to just as Lleyton Hewitt's girlfriend, she is now a respected force on court.


A grand slam title would turn her into a feared champion.

"It's a very special feeling to be number one," said Clijsters.

"It's nice to hear 'number one' when they announce you on court at the beginning of a match.

"But, of course, winning a grand slam motivates me very much. I like the challenge.

"The U.S. Open will be tough because without Serena playing, there will be a lot players who think they have a bigger chance to win."

Since Serena will not be defending her title, Clijsters's biggest threat in New York is expected to be Henin-Hardenne.

"She's the main challenger but there are other players who would like to get a win there too," said Clijsters.

"If I'm going to challenge her, it's going to be in the semis or final and I have to get there first.

"But if I play her, I'm definitely looking forward to revenge."

The Belgian duo have also recently engaged in a war of words after Clijsters accused Henin-Hardenne of using an injury time out as an excuse to regroup in the final of the Acura Classic earlier this month.

But Clijsters insists she and Henin-Hardenne are not enemies.

"Really, there is no problem with Justine, we just have two different characters," she has said.

However, the longer they both remain at the top of the game, and competing for the same honors, the more the rivalry will intensify.
tennisIlove09 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome