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Clijsters Refuses to Commit to Fed Quarter-Finals
Sun April 27, 2003 02:59 PM ET
By Simon Cambers
BREE, Belgium (Reuters) - Kim Clijsters engineered Belgium's 5-0 Fed Cup first-round whitewash of Austria by winning all three of her matches but on Sunday refused to commit herself for her country's quarter-final against Slovakia in July.

Scheduled to play a WTA event in Stanford the week after the Slovakia clash, the world number two was worried the long journey could hamper her chances of victory in the Californian event.

"I'm not sure if I'll play," Clijsters said. "I don't like the idea of all that traveling and the jet-lag. I'm still not sure."

Clijsters refused to disclose any further details but if she decided to skip the tie, it would put a huge burden on Justine Henin-Hardenne to pull off a win against the Daniela Hantuchova-led Slovakia.

Last year, the 2001 champions went out to Italy in the quarter-finals after both Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne chose to concentrate on their WTA tour commitments.

But Belgian number two Henin-Hardenne confirmed she would definitely play in the July tie.

"I think last year I tried something different, to play at Stanford, and it didn't work. But that's not why I'm playing Fed Cup," Henin-Hardenne said.

"I said last year I would be coming back and it's because I realize that Fed Cup is important for me. I enjoy playing in a team situation and it is good for my game."

"It has to be a personal choice. Everyone has their own personal feelings and she's (Clijsters) got to make her choice about what's best and how it fits in."

However, both players said they were looking forward to the possibility of a semi-final showdown with the United States in November, provided they can get past Slovakia.

"It is perhaps a little early but it would be a great match," Clijsters said. "I'm sure Justine and I will be very motivated for that one."

Henin-Hardenne, the only player so far in 2003 to beat world number one Serena Williams, said challenges like playing the Williams sisters was something she always relished.

"Serena and Venus are a very good team of course but it is great for Belgium to have two top players and a great team and I think we have a great chance."
 

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i think its the right way to go
justine and kim dont have to be there all the time

when playing the countries which are not as strong
one of them present should suffice...
 

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I suppose no one sees this as unjust to Justine, why should Justine be busting her gut for her country while Kim is getting ranking points.
 

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Excuse me, Kim is a player that I like, but, I think this decision is simply stupid. I think she have to play for Belgium. I agree that without her, Belgium can win, Jutine Hénin - Hardenne is so " brilliant ", but Kim Clijsters' s decision ( if she don' t play ) is totally un-fairplay. I can understand her decision if there are a Grand slam the week before or something, but it's just Stanford event, she will be really disapointing if she doesn' t play .....
 

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maybe kim will return the favour next year?
 

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You know, Belgium might want to be at full strength for the Slovakians. They won't be a pushover. Hantuchova has beaten Justine before, and you never know.

But I do hope we get a USA-Belgium semifinal. That would actually get me interested in Fed Cup for the first time. :)
 

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Mary Cherry said:
Excuse me, Kim is a player that I like, but, I think this decision is simply stupid. I think she have to play for Belgium. I agree that without her, Belgium can win, Jutine Hénin - Hardenne is so " brilliant ", but Kim Clijsters' s decision ( if she don' t play ) is totally un-fairplay. I can understand her decision if there are a Grand slam the week before or something, but it's just Stanford event, she will be really disapointing if she doesn' t play .....
I have read today in a Belgian newspaper that it looks like she is going to play the QF.

But I think you're right. She plays 25 tournaments in a year. One tournament won't make that much of a difference.

It looks as if the Fed Cup doesn't mean anything to here (so Australians - don't expect to much of here the next years).

She still refuses to go to the Olympics for Belgium. She claims that tennis isn't a Olympic sport.

Yeah right, looking at the number of gold medals Belgium has won the last 20 years, this is very patriotic of the girl.

I feel that she is only in name a Belgian tennis player. A lot of decisions of here seem to indicate that she is only interested in countries where she pays a lot less taxes.
 

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Pfffff ... why do they always have to make a big fuzz out of everything and with "they" I mean Kim and her entourage. You know, there is also a debate going on for the Olympics next year. Her father says it doesn't pay enough, it doesn't fit in the schedule, blablabla. As always, you will see that she will go to the Olympics in the end. It's like they first want IOC president Jacques Rogge to beg for it. And that poor Els Callens is waiting endlessly who to ask to play doubles with in Athens.
 

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Deuce said:
And that poor Els Callens is waiting endlessly who to ask to play doubles with in Athens.
I know this is very important for Els, playing Athens. I just hope one of the 2 will show their good heart and play with Els!
 

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Deuce said:
Pfffff ... why do they always have to make a big fuzz out of everything and with "they" I mean Kim and her entourage. You know, there is also a debate going on for the Olympics next year. Her father says it doesn't pay enough, it doesn't fit in the schedule, blablabla. As always, you will see that she will go to the Olympics in the end. It's like they first want IOC president Jacques Rogge to beg for it. And that poor Els Callens is waiting endlessly who to ask to play doubles with in Athens.
Yesterday Els Callens played doubles with Kim and she almost begged to get the chance to go the Olympics. The medal she earned with Dominique Van Roost at the last Omypics is by far the highpoint of their career. And Kim ... Well, the Olympics .... Well, blablablablabla ...

I'm sure that Els Callens doesn't feel to good with all that BS.
 

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Rhythmboy said:
I know this is very important for Els, playing Athens. I just hope one of the 2 will show their good heart and play with Els!
Wat vind je eigenlijk van het "kust mijn kl... -incident" met de journalisten ?

Papa Clijsters heeft daar weer zijn fantastisch karakter laten bovenkomen.

Wat een vent !
 

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rikvanlooy said:
Wat vind je eigenlijk van het "kust mijn kl... -incident" met de journalisten ?

Papa Clijsters heeft daar weer zijn fantastisch karakter laten bovenkomen.

Wat een vent !
Welk incident?
 

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Rhythmboy said:
I know this is very important for Els, playing Athens. I just hope one of the 2 will show their good heart and play with Els!
Agree with you completely. Els deserves to go to the Olympics! :angel:

And I do think Kim will go too. I can't imagine Lleyton would't go, and I guess he will be able to persuade her ;) .
 

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Yeah, I also dislike Kim's father a lot :fiery: He's a real asshole, always getting mad at the press. He's just too overprotective, that old grumpy guy. And since the beginning of 2003, I'm starting to like Justine more and more. Last year, Kim used to be my top fave, but since the beginning of this year, I find myself rooting more for Justine than for Kim. Sometimes it's like Kim doesn't care much about Belgium and Justine does :)
 

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nicky said:
And I do think Kim will go too. I can't imagine Lleyton would't go, and I guess he will be able to persuade her ;) .
I think so too. Lleyton would never miss an opportunity to represent Australia unless he's injured or something! He loves playing for his country :angel: Hopefully, his patriotism will rub off on Kim.

We'll see. :)
 

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Kim said in an interview that she will try to play one match against Slovakia on Saturday. Actually I don't agree that justine feels more for her country than Kim. You should have seen Kim last weekend during Fed Cup. She was smiling all over, she seemed so happy and she was sooo nice to the audience and to her fans. She even accepted to play doubles too 'cause justine was injured. I don't know many famous Belgian sporters who behave more like Belgians than Kim does. No offense to Justine at all! She's a real Belgian too :D
 

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what was wrongwith justine ans? I hope Kim plays the match against Slovakia Im dreaming of the belgian - USA showdown!
 

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ans said:
Kim said in an interview that she will try to play one match against Slovakia on Saturday. Actually I don't agree that justine feels more for her country than Kim. You should have seen Kim last weekend during Fed Cup. She was smiling all over, she seemed so happy and she was sooo nice to the audience and to her fans. She even accepted to play doubles too 'cause justine was injured. I don't know many famous Belgian sporters who behave more like Belgians than Kim does. No offense to Justine at all! She's a real Belgian too :D
Uhm, Justine was not scheduled to play the doubles, Caroline Maes and Els Callens were. SO Kim took Caroline's place, not Justine's.
 

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I think at least one of the top Belgian belles should play, also at Stanford Kim should recieve a few days rest, I mean they could organize it so she would not have to play till the Thrusday. :confused:
 
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