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Finally and 'nuff said.





http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,6555622%5E12270,00.html




PATRICK SMITH
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Justine's dark side emerges on greatest day

June 07, 2003
SPRINGBOK coach Rudolf Straeuli has laid down the law for his nation's tilt at the World Cup. There will be no alcohol to drink, no sex to be had, no mobile phones to answer and no ping to be ponged.

No grog and no hanky panky are standard exclusions. We can understand those stipulations. Mobile phones are a distraction, too. But no ping pong. This man must be deadly serious. It can only be devastating news to the South African squad. Straeuli must be careful. Grown men suffering ping-pong withdrawal can turn reckless in a heart beat.

Straeuli's regime underlines what lengths sports people will go to if they believe they can snatch victory. We have seen other instances of it this week. Didn't like any of them. There is some grave doubt now over how far Chicago Cubs legend Sammy Sosa will push the limits. He has put new meaning into playing a corker.

He asks that we believe his story that he mistakenly used his exhibition bat that is cork-filled so he can clout the ball further. We are thinking that over.

At Roland Garros, Justine Henin-Hardenne discovered how far she will go to win. She might not like what she found. It might not worry her at all. Sadly, it should.

Sport sets an examination that tests all of us from top to bottom. From our head to our heart. Our hands, legs and lungs. Most of the questions are elementary and familiar. We know the answers before they are asked. How hard we will run. How much pain we will tolerate. How hot our lungs must burn before we yield. But there is always one that fundamentally tests your soul.

For the Belgian it came when she trailed 4-2 and 30-0 on Williams' serve in the third set of their semi-final. As Williams began her service action Henin-Hardenne held up her left hand to suggest she was not ready. The Williams serve found the net. The American looked to the umpire expecting her to allow her to replay her first serve.

However, the umpire did not see Henin-Hardenne raise her hand and allowed the fault to stand. At this very moment the Belgian woman was asked sport's most important question. Will you do anything to win? The Belgian's reply was anything and everything.

As Williams rightly discussed the point with the umpire, Henin-Hardenne stood by the baseline. She said nothing, did nothing. She should have indicated to the umpire that she had raised her hand in a bid to stop Williams' serve.

It was her duty but she did not. Winning, and only winning, had consumed her utterly.

Williams remained as composed as she could in the face of such poor sportsmanship. The crowd turned against her even more, booed and jeered, applauded her errors. She lost the match and a chance to win a fifth straight grand slam title.

Henin-Hardenne lost a lot more. Williams shook hands with her opponent after the match. It was as pointed as it was perfunctory. She did not shake hands with the chair umpire.

After the match Williams went to the standard news conference and sobbed as much as she had lobbed. "I was a little disappointed with her. It wasn't the turning point of the match, I should have still won the game, but to start lying and fabricating is not fair," Williams said.

She should not have said that, no matter how angry or provoked she felt. The Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, find the balance of humility in victory and graciousness in defeat difficult to achieve. Williams did praise her opponent.

"She played very well today and probably deserved to win. She was the better player today. But it gets rather annoying if you're not serving well anyway and you miss your first serve and everybody's booing and screaming."

Henin-Hardenne paid her opponent no respect. She's had her chance so many times. Maybe it's time to give someone else a chance. Henin-Hardenne now plays her countrywoman Kim Clijsters in the final. We knew before she beat Williams that she could play tennis. Now we know there is absolutely nothing she will not do to win. We'll be rooting for Little Kim.

As for Sosa, he awaits a penalty for breaching baseball rules that say bats must be wood and nothing else. So far 76 of his bats have been tested and proved legal. So have five bats held in the Hall Of Fame. He may end up with the benefit of the doubt. Not for Henin-Hardenne, though.


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What a waste of time to argue about that, but to say that Justine was "lying and fabricating" is totally uncalled for.

She had a passive attitude.

She certainly won't win a sportsmanship price for that, but to blame her is somewhat ridiculous.

And again, all that happened in SECONDS, not minuts, sometimes you don't realize in your mind what's really going on on a given situation, and you tend to be passive.
 

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Does anyone remember that Wimbledon semi-final match between Evert and Navratilova? On match point, Evert hit a ball right by where Navratilova was standing. The ball was in but called out. Navratilova could not have failed to see it, but she accepted the call and jumped for joy. Evert had steam coming out of her ears and was still angry about it in the post match press conference.

So yeah. Players do things they might not ought to do in order to win. The desire to win blinds them. I think Venus and Serena themselves have been rather bad sports in matches as well. There aren't too many that you can count on to give the opponent a break.

Pat Rafter. Stefan Edberg. Maybe there are others, but not many.

Remember the time Jimmy crossed the net and wiped out a mark on the clay that his opponent... McEnroe?..... was arguing about?
 

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Instead of accepting that Justine kicked a large amount of red clay up Serena's butt, Williams fans look for an excuse for EVERY match. The passive crowd was "horrendous" (oh please, that crowd was TAME) or that Justine "cheated", etc.

Congrats Justine for defeating a well-playing Serena!
 

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And another point: the situation was ambigious.

I'm sure players don't know every little rules about the game of tennis, and it's up to the umpire to deal with the situation. I think taking a passive approch was the logical choice.
 

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terrific article. Justine is tarnished a bit by this IMO.

i wonder what Kim would have done in the situation?
 

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Kim would have done exactly what Justine did.

Serena ADMITTED to seeing Justine's hand before she served.

Serena ADMITTED to seeing Justine's hand before she served.

She knew not to serve, and tried to pull a quick one on Justine. Or just didn't use her brain. Either way, to ask for another serve after you pulled that stunt is ridiculous.

Serena is the one at fault here.
 

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yes Serena should not have served. if you read my posts you will see that i have admitted in other threads that they are both wrong. Serena should not have served and Justine should have admitted that she had put her hand up. they are BOTH at fault. that is my honest opinion.
 

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tennischick said:
yes Serena should not have served. if you read my posts you will see that i have admitted in other threads that they are both wrong. Serena should not have served and Justine should have admitted that she had put her hand up. they are BOTH at fault. that is my honest opinion.
Probably right... and I'd bet that Justine would have done what Serena did, and Serena would have done what Justine did. 99% of the players out there would have done what Serena and Justine did in their respective situations. Including Kim. And Monica. And all my faves.
 

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What a load of sanctimonious crap. That's right, Henin has discovered her dark side by holding up her hand. And do you know, I have this funny feeling that even without the controversy in Henin's semifinal, an Australian journalist would probably still be supporting Clijsters in the final for some strange reason!
 

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Serena would of let her retake her serve. shes done it before in matches (namely vs Jennifer and we know how tight those are)

do what you can to win....but if its called foul, dont cry foul. Justine or her fans IMO have no right to feel hard done by...she still won

its just.....after this and the incidents with Linzi i dont ever see myself liking her. im increasingly starting to find her disrespectful. "let someone else win"? now how long have u been playing sport my dear? ;)
 

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When she says that, it's not a direct appeal to Serena to give up and stand aside, it's a statement of intent on her own part. That's her way of putting it. Of course she knows that both Serena and Venus have got to be beaten legitimately, and so far she's been the best at doing it out of all the top players.
 

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You guys sound as though Justine just clubbed Serena's ankle or something :rolleyes:

it is wrong on Justine part, but she doesn't need to endure this crap
 

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Like juju was supposed to know that serena was gonna serve while the crowd was screaming. she looked over and realized that serena was gonna serve even before the crowd stopped and held up her hand. serena DID see it and continued with her motion to serve. she could have decided to miss the ball or let it fall. serena is too coordinated and athletic for me to believe otherwise. but to cut serena some slack I can see how she would just go ahead and serve cuz it is hard to stop. I have done it on bad tosses too but I NEVER ASKED FOR ANOTHER FIRST SERVE!!! and to then call my opponent a liar and fabricator is unfair. Justine was EXTREMELY COMPLIMENTARY of Serena and did not USE THE CHANCE to point out how rude serena was afterwards so why couldn't Serena take the high road.

overall it is an unfortunate incident but I think some people on here and in the press HAVE A VESTED INTEREST in exaggerating this and prolonging this. Think about it.
 

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I agree with the article except for one point when the author said Serena shouldn't have said that Justine lied. This article is basically saying that Justine was dishonest. Why is it ok for a writer to say it than the very person it happened to?

Justine is living up to her cold reputation. The comments about the Williamses at last year's Wimby, the comments about Lindsay at AO and her comments yesterday have proven, to me and I'm sure others, that she is classless in defeat and when she wins. She's very disrespectful to American players if you consider those incidents.
 

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Hendouble said:
When she says that, it's not a direct appeal to Serena to give up and stand aside, it's a statement of intent on her own part. That's her way of putting it. Of course she knows that both Serena and Venus have got to be beaten legitimately, and so far she's been the best at doing it out of all the top players.
fair enough i see ur point but if i was just given that quote i would think the worst of her

but you know its hard to hate her more in this situation....especially cos she feels she has done nothing wrong. its like, are you for real? are you that hard nosed? are you that determined to win? are you that ignorant?

no, i dont think less of Justine Henin than i already did :angel:

and i just cant see myself at this present moment in time appreciating her again....
 

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I hate it when journalists write on things they haven't seen or researched. Serena moved quickly back to the umpire after she didn't, initially, shake hands. She smiled and said something to him as she shook his hand. She kept smiling as she went back to her bag. It was graceful. There was only a few seconds delay in shaking his hand.

Put Patrick Smith on the crap-for-a-reporter list.
 

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Henin has a certain French disdain in her personality, but she always says something different and refreshing in interviews rather than toeing the usual line. I'm quite happy that she speaks her mind.
 
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