View Full Version : Here's Cheers to the Top Four Players on the WTA Tour

May 12th, 2003, 10:46 PM
Well – I felt it years ago that the two Belgians were going to be the ones to be reckoned with. Venus also remarked on them – two years ago in Belgium. I had neva heard Venus give such props to any of her peers before.

I’ve always liked Kim and Justine – and definitely enjoy watching them play. If they overtake the Sisters in the ranking – I’d say more power to them - because they would have deserved it. Do I think they will steamroll the Sisters from here on out? No – but I would enjoy the challenge – for they are two of my faves after the Sisters.

Of course I always felt Davy would reclaim the number 3 spot and she still may. I also think Jennifer can still be a threat on any given day – so here they are all bunched up striving for the top. Until one of them dethrones the Sisters consistently though – the Sisters are still the crème of the crop.

Kudos to Justine & Kim for their achievements and Justine’s latest title win.

We shall see what we shall see in Paris. I hope Venus is well enough to play. If not – then Serena will just have to defend to the end.




Belgian pair on the rise

The Williams sisters Venus and Serena have reigned supreme at the top of women's tennis but now a tiny European country feels it is time for a change.

If anybody can challenge the sisters at the French Open later this month, it will be the Belgian pair of Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters.

With Serena and Venus absent, the two advanced to Monday's German Open final, which Henin-Hardenne won 6-4 4-6 7-5 in a thrilling contest.

Providing Henin-Hardenne can recover from a knee injury sustained in the final, which forced her to pull out of this week's Italian Open, the two will be back for more on the claycourts of Roland Garros from May 26.

It was in Paris two years ago that the Belgian pair burst into the limelight, clashing in the semifinals before Clijsters bowed out to Capriati in the final.

"What's happening is great for such a little country," said Henin-Hardenne.

"We get a lot of attention. I remember after the (2001) French Open, I saw kids in the street playing tennis. I'd never seen that in Belgium before."

The world rankings, in which French Open champion Serena heads Clijsters with Venus in third followed by Henin-Hardenne, gives a clear indication that the women's game has become a Williams versus Belgium affair.

Extremely strong

"Serena and Venus are extremely strong but we are now much closer to them and that goes for both myself and Kim," said Henin-Hardenne, who ended Serena's 21-match winning streak when she beat the world number one in the Charleston final last month.

Clijsters, a ferocious competitor with all-round ability, and Henin-Hardenne, a great mover with a superb single-handed backhand, can both do damage on all surfaces.

But Henin-Hardenne, who has a relatively light frame, is at her best on clay, where raw power is less of a factor than on faster courts.

"To me Justine is the best player on clay at the moment," Clijsters said after demonstrating in Sunday's final that she was almost in the same class as her compatriot, squandering three match points.

The two have plenty of experience but are still young - Henin-Hardenne is 20 years old and Clijsters 19 - and could yet improve.

"I definitely feel that I'm still learning and I think I'm getting better all the time," said Clijsters.

Source: Reuters

Date published: May 13, 2003