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Leo Clijsters Clarifies Comments On Henin-Hardenne

By Adrianna Outlaw

Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters have combined to put Belgian tennis on top of the world. The second-ranked Henin-Hardenne beat the top-ranked Clijsters in the U.S. Open final on Saturday night in her second Slam final victory over her compatriot.

The battle between the Belgians continued — in the media — yesterday as Leo Clijsters' comments regarding Henin-Hardenne's fit physique were interpretated by some as a veiled reference to doping.

Mr. Clijsters' comments — and the subsequent rebutal by Henin-Hardenne's coach Carlos Rodriguez — generated global headlines and a media feeding frenzy. Today, Mr. Clijsters clarified his remarks and chastised the media for "trying to create a controversy around Justine and Kim."

The following is a reprint of Leo Clijsters' statement issued today:

Let's get back to the sport

This has to stop, people trying to create a controversy around Justine and Kim. And they shouldn't put words in my mouth.

Have we gotten too used to two Belgian girls doing well? So the sport itself isn't enough to write about anymore? First there was that so called 'blisters' affair, now we've reached another pathetic low with this talk about Justine. And then they try to blame me!

I simply replied to the question why Kim keeps on losing to Justine and why we don't consult a sports psychologist (another silly question...): 'Don't you see Justine has gotten a lot stronger, that she serves better which means it's only normal she's the winner?' I don't think that's such a strange comment. Justine has worked very hard these past few months, which means that when she wins, it's thanks to her hard work. If she keeps working and playing like that, I expect she'll often beat Kim and the others.

We have a very good relationship with Justine and the people around her and treat one another with respect. So why would I accuse someone like her? Of course I'm disappointed when Kim loses, doesn't matter against who. But I do have enough fair play — and Kim as well — to congratulate the opponent with the win.

It would be better if everyone started treating both players with more respect. People should be happy to have two Belgians ranked 1 and 2. And they work very hard for it. Can you just leave it at that? I'll welcome anyone who wants to discuss the sport in the future. But if it's other stories you want, with the sole intention of setting the players and public against each other, then I say no. They tried it with (former Belgian players) (Sabine) Appelmans and (Dominique) Van Roost in the past, now they're doing it again. I think it's a shame and don't want to be a part of that.

Lei Clijsters.

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I am still dissappointed at Lei Clijsters, because having been the limelight as a footballer, he should have known that the media is always hanging on to every word he says hopping for some negative press.
The accusations made the papers here in australia but I doubt the clarification will.
It is amazing/shocking to see how evil human beings can be. As soon as someone gets successful, they get one good report and after that it is downhill.
Can't the human heart be genuinely happy for someone else? :sad:

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that doesnt seem very nice of leo to say he is disappointed when kim loses :fiery: he shuld be happy with every match and be greatful that she has achieved so much already at her age :D

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