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pov
Feb 27th, 2011, 09:06 PM
http://tennis.fanhouse.com/2011/02/25/eight-years-later-serena-williams-cant-get-over-justine-henin/?ncid=txtlnkusspor00000002

February 25 2011 Last updated at 02:57 PM ET
Eight Years Later, Serena Williams Can't Get Over Justine Henin's Hand Incident
By Greg Couch
National Columnist



Eight years later and Serena Williams and Justine Henin are still looking for closure.

"Question,'' Williams wrote on her Twitter account. "I keep hearing about admittance to someone cheating me & lying about it after at the French open? Did she confess finally?''

Well that "someone'' Williams could not bring herself to say was Henin. And if Williams were truly interested in finding out if Henin had fessed up to what happened at the 2003 French Open, the infamous Hand Incident, then Williams could have just Googled it. Instead, she wrote it in a question with very pointed words to her two million Twitter followers, including media members who would make those words even more public.

So this was about sending a message. For some reason, Henin did talk about it, and other controversial moments in her career, in a TV interview in Belgium. She is acknowledging wrongdoing in several things, possibly for closure, while taking a slow exit from the stage since retiring last month.

"It's true,'' Henin said about the Hand Incident Wednesday, "that is not my best memory.''

I'll get into the specifics in a minute. But this is an amazing example of how a small, somewhat insignificant moment can escalate over the years, blow up into hard feelings and rivalry and probably even hatred. It all shows in the fact that both of them still feel the need to talk about it now.

In Henin's case, I assume it has been eating at her. I wouldn't say she cheated exactly, to use Williams' word, but what she did was provide a shocking example of terrible sportsmanship. It would define her in several ways for the rest of her career.

In Williams' case, I think she has let the discussion build up and re-shape the facts in her head. Henin was the one in the wrong that day, but somehow, that moment has grown over the year's into something that cost Williams a major championship.

It did not. It didn't even cost her the match with Henin. Didn't cost her the set. Or the game.

Or even that one point.

It's hard to see, looking at the facts, why Williams would still be worked up over this moment. I think she started the flames right after that match, and has fanned them, and gotten help with that from her fans.

Where she really was robbed was the 2004 U.S. Open quarterfinals against Jennifer Capriati. That match was one terrible call after another at crucial moments. Maybe she has some peace over that one because U.S. Open officials apologized publicly to her. And that match is seen as leading to the use of electronic line calling.

Henin had never acknowledged doing anything wrong to Williams, and sometimes you just want to hear someone admit it.

Those two moments surely added to her distrust regarding the 2009 U.S. Open, when she foot-faulted and then went into an f-bomb laced, threatening tirade against the line judge who called it. The buzz and talk about that has swirled in Williams' head, too, changing truth. She did foot fault that day – I was sitting right behind the line judge and saw it even before the call was made – yet she now says she was right about that moment.

She demands that Henin admit what she did, but won't admit to her foot fault.

Anyway, back to the Hand Incident with Henin at the 2003 French Open. It was the semifinals. They had split sets. Williams was up a break, 4-2 in the deciding set. It was 30-love, and Williams missed on her first serve. But Henin had held up her hand, signifying that she wasn't ready to return.

Williams then wanted to hit her first serve again, which would be the normal, sportsmanlike thing. Henin's hand, theoretically, had distracted Williams. In looking at the tape, I doubt Williams even saw that hand until after she had served.

But anyway, the chair ump said she hadn't seen Henin's hand up, and Henin never did admit that she had raised it.

She should have.

Game, set, match? No. Williams hardly put up an argument, and then simply hit her second serve on the same point. She would lose the point, and then went on to lose the match.

"Perhaps I should have said that I raised my hand,'' Henin said this week, "even though, in honesty, I still think that it didn't change the course of the match.''

The interview was done in French, and has been interpreted by many English-speaking media outlets.

Henin seemed to say that the Williams sisters played games of intimidation, and that she was using the incident at the time to stand tall against Serena and show that she couldn't be pushed around.

I suspect it wasn't thought out like that at all. But instead, Henin just wanted to gain an edge, and figured she could get away with it. Possibly, Williams was doing the same thing in claiming that the hand had bothered her.

It's interesting that Henin doesn't exactly apologize, which might be closure for her, but not for Williams.

Last year, Serena played Jelena Jankovic, and was so concerned that Jankovic might think she was doing something unsportsmanlike – she was not -- that when they shook hands at the net afterward, she said, "Don't think I would do that. I'm not Justine.''

Well, Henin has finally cleared her conscience. We'll see if Williams can get over it, too.

mariavikafan
Feb 27th, 2011, 09:13 PM
Stop trying. Henin was the first to talk about that.

zhengjieforever
Feb 27th, 2011, 09:18 PM
that really was a minor incident, this hand thing. still, obviously not okay to do.

one thing did jump out at me... serena actually foot faulted!!! :lol::lol:

jeez. although i don't blame her (actually i do. but i also can sort of sympathize) for reacting the way she did after the horrible experience she had at the 2004 us open; i'd be paranoid too.

terjw
Feb 27th, 2011, 09:29 PM
Last year, Serena played Jelena Jankovic, and was so concerned that Jankovic might think she was doing something unsportsmanlike – she was not -- that when they shook hands at the net afterward, she said, "Don't think I would do that. I'm not Justine.''


It looked very much like gamesmanship to me raising her hand late while JJ was serving at a time when there was a lot of needle between them. JJ's serve went in but she had to serve again. Actually that stunt backfired because it seemed Serena had so much of a guilt conscience after that - backed up by what she said at the net - that there was no more needle and she didn't seem to be able to fully concentrate on her game sfter that. It was pretty near the end and JJ quickly wrapped up the match. So JJ obviously was happy at the end and wasn't concerned in the least. She might have thought differently if she'd lost.

Slutiana
Feb 27th, 2011, 09:34 PM
It looked very usportsmanlike to me raising her hand late while JJ was serving at a time when there was a lot of needle betwwen them. JJ's serve went in but she had to serve again. Actually that stunt backfired because it seemed she had so much of a guilt conscience after that - backed up by what she said at the net - that there was no more needle and she didn't seem to be able to fully concentrate on her game. It was pretty near the end and JJ quickly wrapped up the match. So JJ obviously was happy at the end and wasn't concerned in the least. She might have thought differently if she'd lost.
She did it because people in the crowd were moving as JJ was about to serve. It wasn't a "stunt". The reason she was rattled by it was because, unlike Justine, Serena isn't a cheater and doesn't want her contemporaries to think of her as a cheater, as they do with Justine.

Anyway, why on earth are you posting a Greg Couch article here? He's one of the worst tennis writers (up there with Stephanie Myles and Chris Chase) and a certified dickhead. So biased and everything he writes is bullshit dripping with blatant "controversey" in order to get views. Posting it here is only helping him.

He's one of the ones who have consistently tried to accuse Serena of not being injured, and he created all those conspiracy theories. As for the "Serena actually footfaulted because I was there", more BS.

Rome
Feb 27th, 2011, 09:42 PM
This guy is a joke and this article is even worse of a joke.

HRHoliviasmith
Feb 27th, 2011, 09:43 PM
why create another thread when it's already being discussed in the other thread? leave it to pov. :rolleyes:

sweetpeas
Feb 27th, 2011, 09:44 PM
thought differently if she'd lost.
She did it because people in the crowd were moving as JJ was about to serve. It wasn't a "stunt". The reason she was rattled by it was because, unlike Justine, Serena isn't a cheater and doesn't want her contemporaries to think of her as a cheater, as they do with Justine.

Anyway, why on earth are you posting a Greg Couch article here? He's one of the worst tennis writers (up there with Stephanie Myles and Chris Chase) and a certified dickhead. So biased and everything he writes is bullshit dripping with blatant "controversey" in order to get views. Posting it here is only helping him.



Thanks so much Slutian!My friend.
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