Henin-Hardenne, Clijsters may clash at WTA Championships - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2003, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Henin-Hardenne, Clijsters may clash at WTA Championships

Henin-Hardenne, Clijsters may clash at WTA Championships


November 5, 2003
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) - Kim Clijsters says her rivalry with Justine Henin-Hardenne has been overblown by the media. Henin-Hardenne doesn't necessarily agree.

The Belgians, who have traded the top spot in women's tennis back and forth over the last four months, may be headed for another pot-stirring matchup when the $3 million WTA Tour Championships begin Wednesday night.

Clijsters, who holds a 9-8 advantage in the all-time series, believes the media has made more of the competition between the players than there actually is.

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"I think so," she said. "Everything has been blown out of proportion, but I don't really want to start it again. I don't want to say too much about it because otherwise it would flare up again."

When Clijsters was asked if the two are friendly, she replied, "Oh yeah, yeah."

That wasn't exactly the assessment of Henin-Hardenne, who has gotten the better of Clijsters in big matches this year.

"Have we ever been really, really close friends? That is the question," she said. "There is a lot of respect between each other, that's for sure. We traveled a lot together when we were young and we're doing our job. We come from a little country, and it's not easy every day. Respect is the most important thing, and there is a lot of respect between each other."

Although Clijsters has regained the world No. 1 ranking she held earlier this year, she has done so without winning a Grand Slam - the only player ever to hold the top spot without a major victory.

Henin-Hardenne, who was No. 1 briefly between Clijsters' stints at the top, has captured Grand Slam titles at the French Open and the U.S. Open - beating Clijsters in the final both times.

The battle for No. 1 resumes Wednesday. Henin-Hardenne can overtake Clijsters by reaching the semifinals of the six-day event at Staples Center, which features the top eight players in a new round-robin format.

The players are in different groups and could meet in the final.

Clijsters, who dates former men's No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, likes the fresh format.

"It's great," she said. "You see the best players playing against everybody. It doesn't matter if you lose - it's great to see because that's what the people want to see. They want to see everybody compete against everybody."

France's Amelie Mauresmo, Americans Jennifer Capriati and Chanda Rubin, Russians Anastasia Myskina and Elena Dementieva and Japan's Ai Sugiyama also will vie for the $1 million winner's check.

Clisters stunned Serena Williams in last year's final here. The bubbly 21-year-old banger hopes to defend her crown.

"If it would happen, it would be great, because it started it (2003) for me," said Clijsters, who leads the tour with nine singles titles. "But its not something I'm thinking about now. I want to prepare myself as good as possible and then give myself a chance for whatever it takes to get it right."

Clijsters said she is not here to avenge her losses to Henin-Hardenne.

"That's definitely not going to be on my mind when I'm playing," Clijsters said. "I don't want to be thinking about which matches I have to win and which not. I want to focus and I want to work and be as fit as possible as I can and get myself ready for whatever it takes to get it right."

For Henin-Hardenne, winning this tournament and regaining the top ranking would complete the "Dream Year" for the small but powerful blond bomber.

"It's unbelievable, it's something special," she said. "Being No. 1 is only something 13 players have achieved in the past. If I can finish the year No. 1, it would be great after the year I did.

"I won two Grand Slams. I almost did everything good. So it would be perfect to stay a few weeks as No. 1 ... because it is a big difference for the other people but not for me. I would like to come back as No. 1 in 2004."

If Henin-Hardenne finishes behind Clijsters, it will still be a sensational year.

"The Grand Slams, for sure, are the moments I treasure," she explained. "The French Open was the grand slam of the emotion, the victory of the emotion because it was my first Grand Slam. But the U.S. Open was so significant for me after what I did in the semifinals - winning New York in a tournament I didn't like too much in the past. Probably the best thing I did was the win the U.S. Open, for sure."

Clijsters is in the Red Group with the third-seeded Mauresmo, No. 6 Dementieva and No. 8 Rubin.

Henin-Hardenne is in the Black Group with the fourth-seeded Capriati, No. 5 Myskina and No. 7 Sugiyama.

Henin-Hardenne is still smarting over accusations by Clijsters that she employed crafty gamesmanship to win several of their hard-fought matches.

After a superhuman effort to take out Jennifer Capriati in the semifinal, Henin-Hardenne easily dismissed Clijsters for the title at Flushing Meadow.

On her trip home, Henin-Hardenne was grilled by the media as to whether Clijsters' father Leo and former player Filip Dewulf were accurate in their comments about her buff physique.

"Justine's muscle mass has doubled and now she has arms like Serena's," Leo Clijsters said.

Henin-Hardenne had difficulty with the allegations, which she chalked up to jealousy.

"It wasn't easy," she explained. "It took me a lot of energy because when you work so hard, give everything for this and win two Grand Slams, you make people jealous. I understand, but you don't have to make it public."



Updated on Wednesday, Nov
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2003, 06:19 PM
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Henin-Hardenne had difficulty with the allegations, which she chalked up to jealousy.

"It wasn't easy," she explained. "It took me a lot of energy because when you work so hard, give everything for this and win two Grand Slams, you make people jealous. I understand, but you don't have to make it public."


Yes, Justine and Serena understands that all too well. Shall we go back to your comments after you beat her at this year's semifinal match at the FO?

Give me a break!
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2003, 06:21 PM
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Yeah and this time it may be LITERALLY clash....´cause right now the love is really lost between these two.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2003, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizchris
Henin-Hardenne had difficulty with the allegations, which she chalked up to jealousy.

"It wasn't easy," she explained. "It took me a lot of energy because when you work so hard, give everything for this and win two Grand Slams, you make people jealous. I understand, but you don't have to make it public."


Yes, Justine and Serena understands that all too well. Shall we go back to your comments after you beat her at this year's semifinal match at the FO?

Give me a break!
Yeah after that semi it was:" good match this and that, forget what happened and blah blah. I´m happy that the Williamses aren´t happy."

Now you wanna cry?!

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2003, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizchris
Henin-Hardenne had difficulty with the allegations, which she chalked up to jealousy.

"It wasn't easy," she explained. "It took me a lot of energy because when you work so hard, give everything for this and win two Grand Slams, you make people jealous. I understand, but you don't have to make it public."


Yes, Justine and Serena understands that all too well. Shall we go back to your comments after you beat her at this year's semifinal match at the FO?

Give me a break!
Is it necessairy to start irrelevant, stupid and jealous discussions?
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2003, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizchris
Henin-Hardenne had difficulty with the allegations, which she chalked up to jealousy.

"It wasn't easy," she explained. "It took me a lot of energy because when you work so hard, give everything for this and win two Grand Slams, you make people jealous. I understand, but you don't have to make it public."


Yes, Justine and Serena understands that all too well. Shall we go back to your comments after you beat her at this year's semifinal match at the FO?

Give me a break!
You mean the one where she admitted putting her hand up, or the one about Serena seeing her do so, and deliberately serving anyway?

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2003, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustineTime
You mean the one where she admitted putting her hand up, or the one about Serena seeing her do so, and deliberately serving anyway?
And if it was an ace?!

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2003, 06:50 PM
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"The bubbly 21-year old banger" - wah? This tabloid speak has got to stop...

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2003, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizchris
Henin-Hardenne had difficulty with the allegations, which she chalked up to jealousy.

"It wasn't easy," she explained. "It took me a lot of energy because when you work so hard, give everything for this and win two Grand Slams, you make people jealous. I understand, but you don't have to make it public."


Yes, Justine and Serena understands that all too well. Shall we go back to your comments after you beat her at this year's semifinal match at the FO?
Juju didn't flat out lie about what happened there, she admitted to what she did and defended her actions (I'm not gonna say whether or not I agree with her, there are already a million posts about that so plz let's not go there again).

And I also think you answered your own question. Anything Juju might've said came after a win when she had no reason to be jealous whereas Kim's father (and after San Diego Kim herself) made the accusations after a loss.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2003, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nygirl
Juju didn't flat out lie about what happened there, she admitted to what she did and defended her actions (I'm not gonna say whether or not I agree with her, there are already a million posts about that so plz let's not go there again).

And I also think you answered your own question. Anything Juju might've said came after a win when she had no reason to be jealous whereas Kim's father (and after San Diego Kim herself) made the accusations after a loss.
She said in her press conference after the match that it was time for "Serena to step aside" and give others a chance because she won the last four Grand Slams in a row. That sounded like she was jealous of Serena's accomplishments to me.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filip!
Is it necessairy to start irrelevant, stupid and jealous discussions?
Read my response to nygirl's post

What I said was not irrelevant, stupid or jealous, so get a grip.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2003, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nygirl
Juju didn't flat out lie about what happened there, she admitted to what she did and defended her actions (I'm not gonna say whether or not I agree with her, there are already a million posts about that so plz let's not go there again).

And I also think you answered your own question. Anything Juju might've said came after a win when she had no reason to be jealous whereas Kim's father (and after San Diego Kim herself) made the accusations after a loss.
that´s weak! You start quoting but you don´t want to give your opinion about the quotes?!

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2003, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustineTime
You mean the one where she admitted putting her hand up, or the one about Serena seeing her do so, and deliberately serving anyway?
No.

I am talking about her obvious resentment of Serena's sucuess which was in full display after she beat Serena at the FO.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2003, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizchris
She said in her press conference after the match that it was time for "Serena to step aside" and give others a chance because she won the last four Grand Slams in a row. That sounded like she was jealous of Serena's accomplishments to me.
Yep....and thus that she was willing to use questionable gamesmanship to win.

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2003, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizchris
She said in her press conference after the match that it was time for "Serena to step aside" and give others a chance because she won the last four Grand Slams in a row. That sounded like she was jealous of Serena's accomplishments to me.
I saw a French interview with her in which she said (while laughing): 'Serena wins so much that she can afford to leave some crumbs for the other players.'

That is a very different thing then saying to your competitor to 'step aside'. I don't wanna bring up the fact that English isn't her first language but sometimes it does explain some of her quotes. She did improve her English a whole lot though. I remember when I first started seeing interviews of her she sounded worse then Ferrero does now but obviously training in the States has helped her to improve.
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