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Clijsters: US Open title tainted without Serena and Venus

By Jim Slater
NEW YORK (AFP) - Kim Clijsters hungers for a Grand Slam trophy, but the women's world number one from Belgium admits this year's US Open crown will be a tainted title without Serena and Venus Williams competing for it.

"That's always going to be said of course, because in the last few Grand Slams they have definitely been somewhat dominant," she said. "For any winner this year there's always going to be a point where they always point that out."

Clijsters and Belgian second seed Justine Henin-Hardenne spoke here Sunday on the eve of the year's final Grand Slam tournament. They are favorites on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts with the Williams sisters injured.

"It's still very early to talk about any 'Belgian final,'" Henin-Hardenne said. "A lot of other players can win this tournament."
Anything less than an all-Belgian final will be a failure for the caretakers of the women's throne, ruling only with six-time Slam winner Serena Williams out after knee surgery and fourth seed Venus out with a abdominal strain.

"It's going to be tough to win even if Serena and Venus aren't here," said Henin-Hardenne. "I don't feel much pressure. I don't feel like the favorite here. I think Kim is the favorite. She is number one in the world right now.

"On the paper, she is. On the court, we will see."

Clijsters, 20, is the first number one without a Grand Slam title, a status she longs to erase here.
"That would be nice but it takes a lot more than just saying it," Clijsters said. "With Serena and Venus pulling out, a lot of players are definitely believing more in their chances now -- are even extra motivated.
"I don't think it puts any more pressure. There's definitely more attention. But those things are not going to change the way I prepare, the way I feel, the way I look toward my matches."
Henin-Hardenne, 21, beat Clijsters 6-0, 6-4 in the French Open final and again earlier this month in a San Diego hardcourt final. Clijsters would like the chance to avenge the losses but is not overlooking her half of the draw.
"If you think too far ahead, you probably shouldn't even come to the tournament because you've probably lost already," Clijsters said. "I don't feel comfortable doing that."
Clijsters made a slight growl when told of comments by Pat McEnroe that she had not won a Slam because she was not mean or hungry enough.
"I am who I am. I'm not going to change because he thinks I'm not mean enough," she said. "I don't want to be a mean person. I'd rather be known as a nice person than a mean person."
"And I'm hungry. I didn't have any breakfast this morning so I'm hungry."
Henin-Hardenne is famished as well, longing for the top ranking Clijsters enjoys at the moment.
"It's great motivation that Kim is number one," Henin-Hardenne said. "We're playing for the same thing -- winning a lot of tournaments and being the best player in the world."
This is the only Slam event at which Henin-Hardenne has failed to reach the quarter-finals.
"I've never played well here so I hope this year is going to be different," Henin-Hardenne said. "I'm feeling stronger physically and mentally this year than I have ever been in the past.
"I think my game has improved. I hope it's going to be different. It's very early to say how you are going to play. I'll have to prove it on the court."
Henin-Hardenne opens against Hungarian teen Aniko Kapros, who beat her 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 in the opening round of last year's French Open.
"I was sick last year at the French Open, very sick. This match is going to be different," Henin-Hardenne said. "I'm always very focused on my first match because it's probably the most difficult. But I don't think about what happened last year."
Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne have each won six titles this year, building a rivalry that peaked in San Diego when Clijsters ripped her rival after a tough finals loss.
"Those things got blown out of proportion," Clijsters said. "A lot of people like to create something between us when there's nothing.
"I think there's rivalry. There's no tension. Once we're on the court, we compete against each other. Afterwards we joke and have fun."
Henin-Hardenne put the remarks in perspective, but added a little twist of her own back at Clijsters.

"It's a litle bit stupid to pay attention to it," she said. "Kim was really disappointed. Probably she has some regrets about what she said. I think it was a little bit stupid. But I forgot it. It's in the past.

"I understand sometimes it's hard to lose but she has to accept that."
 

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Interesting.

Justine the enfant terrible is the favorite no matter what she says. First of all she has a grandslam which she won this year, second she has won to tough hard court tournaments, and third she beat kim in the finals of one of those.

she is the undisputed favorite and when she pretends she's not irks me.

Also I applaud her for pulling out the old venus williams trick of "she may be number one on paper but...." Justine knows how to borrow from the greats.

Oh and the only people who will point out the williams sisters were out which "opened up" the draw for a new winner will be tv sport pundits, commenators, and of course williams fans. :kiss:

Though in the long run the only thing that matters is who wins not who doesn't show up.
 

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Kim is feeling the US Open is going to be tainted for the trophy holder.... NOW I know she really feels that seh is not really the real #1 player.

So sad. :(
 

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what's with the title of the thread :confused:
Kim admits HH is just a bit - what
 

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This just goes to show that even Kim herself doesn´t feel she´s no.1! How can a world no.1 player say a GS is tainted, when she´s playing?!
 

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Stop dissing Kim when all she wants to do is win every single match she plays! :(
 

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I don't really trust articles like these in terms of getting insight on how players really feel towards each other.

On who is the favorite, it's pretty much debatable. Justine, may have a GS under her belt, but Kim is the much talked-about, newly baptized number 1 so she has a lot of proving to do(at least in the eyes of others).
 

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kim4eva said:
Stop dissing Kim when all she wants to do is win every single match she plays! :(
Hey either you´re no.1 or you aren´t! If you´re no.1, you can´t walk around talking about tainted titles and stuff.
 

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bandabou said:
Hey either you´re no.1 or you aren´t! If you´re no.1, you can´t walk around talking about tainted titles and stuff.
The no. 1 has nothing to do with this title being tainted. The sisters have won uso the past 4 (??) years, and are always good on hardcourts, that's why it is tainted...
Not because "some" say the best aren't there...
 

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OMG, some Williams fans are so fucking stupid. In every fan base there are so many fucked up fans!
Kim is not my fave, but leave the girl alone for once... This board hasn't gone one minute without discussing Kim and her #1 ranking. It was okay at first, but it's getting silly... poor Kim.
 

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Schalckske said:
The no. 1 has nothing to do with this title being tainted. The sisters have won uso the past 4 (??) years, and are always good on hardcourts, that's why it is tainted...
Not because "some" say the best aren't there...
aah, so you admit that if Kim wins she got lucky because Serena nor Venus weren´t there?!
 

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everyone in the draw is lucky right now. there is not "got or gettin" lucky. the luck has already happened. people on this board are always "truth withholding" most of yall admit u don't like to hear the truth, rather it be bad or good. but take Lindsay D for example. she tells it like it is. she talks so highly of both venus and serena and their game, people on this board have always questioned why she does this, and talks about how it has to put her down. personally i doubt it puts her down, cuz rather than having in the back of her head, that she really isn't the favorite, she does what i call the smart thing, and just outright says, serena is so great, the total package, venus is right behind her etc. the usopen just isn't the same etc. its all true statements. these are not opinions from lindsay they are really the facts. we had jennifer about a year ago doing it, but this year she has opended up more some, and comments like she hopes serena gvies her some gifts for her birthday etc, let us know again, that they know venus and serena are the favorites to win etc.

they aren't here, the title is tainted, but there is still gonna be a winner. just at the end of the day, i feel they will be known as the grandslam chapion w/ out williams' in the tournie at all.
 

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GO KIMMY!!!!! :kiss:

no nicer person deserves this title, and if it is an all belgian final (expected) then i hope she makes it one slam apiece :)

and ps leave Kimmy alone ;) while the Williams are out, im rooting for her as shes respectful towards the girls ;)
 

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bandabou said:
Hey either you´re no.1 or you aren´t! If you´re no.1, you can´t walk around talking about tainted titles and stuff.
That's just an aspect of Kim. Kim can say everything she wants, her results decide if she is number one or not. She is a modest person but this doesn't mean that she can't be a number one. I am also modest when people ask me about my results at the university although I was the first of my year :angel: :tape: ;)
 

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OH PLEASE Justine! You know damn well that without Venus and Serena on a USO hardcourt, you have a better chance of taking the title.

You want to discard 2 players who has won the open 4 times in a row. All Justine is trying to do is prove that she is worthy of the title when she goes through her weak ass draw. lol

And why does she have to call Kim stupid? I don't hear anyone saying shit about that. Trust, if either sister said this shit the haters would be all over it.

I hope Kim wins, because she is right the title will be somewhat tainted. It does not mean the player who wins does not deserve the title, because someone did not show up.

Hopefully the title will fall Kim's way. Justine needs a reality check. :rolleyes:
 

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Justine did not say Kim is stupid. Justine said that what Kim said (accusing Justine of faking, the thing Justine was shot down for when she did it with Davenport) was a bit stupid. Her words were a bit stupid, not Kim herself.

harloo, you REALLY want to hate her, huh. You are getting pathetic.
 

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Nemesis said:
Justine did not say Kim is stupid. Justine said that what Kim said (accusing Justine of faking, the thing Justine was shot down for when she did it with Davenport) was a bit stupid. Her words were a bit stupid, not Kim herself.

harloo, you REALLY want to hate her, huh. You are getting pathetic.

sorry but if you are calling what someone said stupid you are in effect calling them stupid as well. thats common sense. take our president for example.
 

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But Bush does it all the time and Justine only said it about that one sentence of Kim. Cybelle, I'm sure you say stupid things sometimes. Everybody does. But you aren't stupid in whole by that :rolleyes:

The Justine hate has risen to a level where they actually turn around each word of Justine and inspecting it to arrogance & insults :rolleyes: :mad:
 
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