Category Archives: Justine Henin
So today Justine conducted a lengthy Belgian television interview. They apparently spoke about everything, and of course “everything” includes all those gamesmanship accusations that have popped up at the most important moments in her career. Like, you know, “the hand”, or “the call”, or “the retirement”.
I’m sure there are many gems to come out of this interview, but the best one?
“Perhaps I should have said that I raised my hand even though in honesty I still think that this didn’t change the course of the match because if I thought she was really perturbed by that, I think I would have reacted. Now, there’s a lot of tension, we act according to our instincts, so it’s true that this is not the best memory.. but in the same time, what happened beneath was magical. So there, I don’t know if this turned around the match. I hope I’m not in bad intentions when I say this.
It was perhaps a way to respect me, because it should be known that the Williams sisters have attitudes that are sometimes difficult… They have played enormously on intimidation. It should be known that when we play a Williams, and we walk on court, towards the entrance of the court, there was always the second besides. Because they show themselves that they are two together. One already makes a big impression, and it’s two.”
So basically she decided to use gamesmanship/cheat (whatever you want to call it) because Venus and Serena are bullies, and she wanted to get them back and force them to “respect” her? That is just too good.
Back when it happened, my immediate thought was that she just wanted to win at any costs. She has never had the outside interests of the Williams Sisters, Kim or the rest. And of course when she tried to, Pierre-Yves Hardenne happened. So, yeah, clearly tennis was only actual thing going on for her.
But this? This just blows any other possible conspiracy theory out of the water, and yet it comes straight from the horse’s mouth. What a way to justify cheating! It says a lot about her as a person, really. That she can see two women, two minority women, not afraid to stand up tall with confidence and strength, and that’s a problem? From where I’m standing, it only shows that she herself lacks/lacked confidence and she also lacks any strength of her own.
But most importantly, it’s just goddamn hilarious.
To add to it. She also admitted seeing the ball as ‘in’ against Clijsters, yet she still protested and eventually convinced the umpire to overrule on the most important point in the match. And in addition to that, as shown in the picture, they played back the “hand” incident to her and she just sat there laughing. Man, that woman is classy.
So, we finally had the much anticipated follow up to last year’s ‘Hit For Haiti’ exo, with this year’s ‘Rally For Relief’ taking place today. This exhibition was to benefit all those affected by the Queensland floods, with Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Pat Rafter, Justine Henin, Vera Zvonareva, Andy Murray, Jim Courier, Lleyton Hewitt, Kim Clijsters, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Sam Stosur all taking part. It was a massive success with the players raising $1.5m thus far, a figure likely to be doubled, tripled and God knows what esle over the next fortnight.
The first part was pretty much a free-for-all in a similar vein to last year. As usual it was Novak and Andy who stole the show with their perving on the WTA players, going into the photog area, perving again, sitting in the linesman’s chairs, perving a little more and just generally cracking joke after joke (most of which were to do with their female counterparts). Also gotta hand it to Ana and Vika who were the supporting cast in this exo. Most of the other players were (expectedly) quite boring, and Serena was clearly missed after her effort in the last exhibition. But Murray and Ana had sex on-court, people.
I think we all rolled our eyes after looking at the program for the second match of the exhibition, billed as the “main event. The four got down to the mic-less *srs* business, with Kim teaming up with Rafa and Fed with Sam. There were some fun moments but all in all it wasn’t the most riveting of viewing experiences. But then they flipped it round for a good ol’ battle of the sexes, and it went from boring to goddamn amazing in the blink of an eye. I don’t even care that this was an exhibition, I just found it so enjoyable and to watch the WTA players, our WTA players, go up against the men and give such a great account of themselves. The men did try to play it cool with their little dinks and slices, but when they did step up and go for their strokes there were some pretty electric rallies. Two of the most prominent being the forehand-to-forehand exchange between Rafa and Sam, in which both were killing the ball, and the second was when Kim and Sam loaded up on heavy topspin, imitating their male counterparts. The women eventually won the tie 45-43 with a massive forehand winner from Kim. Bow down to them.
The one thing I will say is that, as great as this and last year’s event have been, I just wish that it wasn’t simply a response to a disaster. They raised so much money with just a 1hr30 hit ‘n’ giggle, and there are so many other causes that need help, so why not make events like these a regular occurrence at the other slams (bar the US Open which obviously has the Arthur Ashe Kids Day) also? Not only does this raise a lot of money for charities and relief efforts, but it’s a brilliant advertisement for the ATP, the WTA and tennis as a whole.
It’s that time of year again. The Australian Open men’s and Women’s draws are done and dusted, and it’s my job to dissect them - secondary school biology class style, so here goes. As I’m such a gentleman, it’s ladies first.
Atop of the first section stands our world number one Caroline Wozniacki, and for once she really hasn’t got it easy. Upset queen Gisela Dulko in the first round, her Sydney conqueror Dominika Cibulkova awaiting in the third round, Jarmila fucking Groth/Marion Bartoli predicted to meet her in the fourth round and then Justine Henin/Svetlana Kuznetsova or Francesca Schiavone in the quarters. The skies ahead are looking stormy for “Little Miss Sunshine”.
But there’s a reason they actually play these matches. Anything can happen, and it usually does on the WTA. This section is undoubtedly one of the most packed in the draw (10 Grand Slams between them), and so all eyes will be here to see how things unfold. Even many of the first round matches are great. There is of course Woz’s aforementioned match against Giant-killah Gisela, and then we have the first rounder between Jarka “I’m not a fucking tourist” Groth and the source of all evil, Yanina Wickmayer. This will promise to be an affair full of foul-mouthed tirades and ill-tempered big babe ballstriking with a touch of athleticism for good measure. However, I can only see Jarka coming away with the ‘W’. She’s such a talented player, and it all seems like things are slowly-but-surely coming together for her. She obviously beat Sam Stosur in her first tournament of 2011 and is currently in the finals of Hobart, so she’s going to be tough to beat. Jokes aside, there seems to be so much hype surrounding Yanina Wickmayer, yet nothing to show for it. She may have reached the US Open semis, but we all saw first-hand just how messed up that draw was - the fact that the 18th-seeded Virginie Razzano was her biggest scalp en route to a slam semi pretty much says it all. She is still yet to beat a top ten player at a WTA event.
On a personal note, the Anastasija Sevastova vs Polona Hercog first rounder is something that both excited me and annoys me. Two young players blessed with such attractive games. The two people watching the match are in for one hell of a treat. Wish I was one of them.
Moving on into the draw, the third round matches are looking pretty good. Karolina against Cibulkova is a must-see after the upset in Sydney, and Marion Bartoli’s match against Groth/Wickmayer could be fun, too. Finally, there is, of course, the potential third round match between Svetlana Kuznetsova and Justine Henin. Remember when they used to meet in slam finals? It was really fun about 3 years ago when we began to have these crazy draws, and we laughed heartily at them, but now it just sucks. Majorly. They should be playing in the quarters, semis or finals of slams, not the third round. And this only one of many early matches at this year’s Australian Open, that could have/already have easily been slam finals at some time or another. Anyways, it is what it is. If Sveta can find some form and lose all the inhibitions, then she could easily make it interesting, but I’m expecting a win for Justine. Prove me wrong Sveta. I beg you, please prove me wrong.
And now for the hard part. Well, in all honesty, this isn’t a particularly tough choice. Christine really is the overwhelming favourite. I’ll never count Francesca out after her brilliant victory over Justine back in 2008, I think Wozniacki could give her some problems should she reach that stage – we saw those moonballzz work a treat against Justine last year in Miami, and there is also that classic Marion Bartoli match involving Justine – yes, that match. But Justine is the overwhelming favourite from this quarter, and I’m too chicken to go against her.
Pick: Justine Henin.
Australia drew first blood on day one of the Hopman Cup, defeating Belgium 2-1. Justine Henin put Belgium up 1-0 with a 6-4 6-4 win over Alicia Molik, but a 6-4 6-3 victory for Lleyton Hewitt against Ruben Bemelmans levelled it all up going into the mixed doubles. The mixed was a pretty thrilling affair. It marked Justine’s first mixed doubles experience of her life, and it showed. Though the pair quickly went up 6-1, it was clear that Justine was clueless as to where to stand and what to do on the doubles court. Even so, she was still pretty enjoyable to watch today, and was particularly extremely creative and flairesome at the net. But pretty volleys don’t win matches, and after Molik stole the match point with a deft angled backhand return winner off Bemelmans’ serve, Hewitt and Molik clinched the match at the very first opportunity.
I also have to reserve a special headshake and eyeroll for Carlos Rodriguez. Even though the Hopman Cup is a Exhibition, Carlos was still constantly sending out countless handsignals to Justine, telling her where to serve and where/how to hit the ball. Someone get the man a straitjacket.
With 2011 fast approaching and the excitement of a brand new season slowly mounting to a fever pitch, I’ve taken to my trusty crystal ball to see what awaits us in the new year. I still wear my Schiavone French Open prediction like a crown, so will lightning strike twice in 2011 or will I be stuffing my face with humble pie this time around? We shall see. Remember, this is all in good fun so don’t take my word for gospel or anything.
Both Justine Henin and Caroline Wozniacki took time out of their busy pre-season schedules this past week, to glam up and plug their new endorsements. Caroline signed her 49832002498422490th endorsement of the year with Turkish Airlines, while Justine was around promoting her new “Tao” drink… thing. Also came across this photoshopped pic of Wozniacki from the same event, and I laughed. Shoot me.
Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters yesterday took to the courts for an exhibition match at the GDF Suez Diamond Games Exhibition in Antwerp. They were joined by Francesca Schiavone and Yanina Wickmayer who played a match of their own beforehand. Before the event, Justine and Kim sat down and spoke to the media, bringing up the possibility of them teaming up to play doubles at London 2012.
When you think about how icy and awkward the pair were towards each other earlier on in their careers, it really is great to see how their relationship has grown along the years. It’s doubtful that they will ever be best friends or anything like that, but they both seem to share a mutual respect and appreciation for each other which, all sarcasm and jokes aside, is quite refreshing to witness.
News is that our dear WTA number one has recorded a song called “Oxigent” (Oxygen) and will release it as a single to benefit Danish and Polish Paralympic teams. Apparently she sings about “needing love like Oxygen”. Like seriously.
I mean who the hell does she think she is, Justine Henin? Here’s to hoping that the Queen diva finally releases her own material to push Wozniacki back into the shade where she belongs. There’s no way that the Pole-Dane will ever be able to hold even the tiniest of flames to Queen Justine’s unprecedented triple threat of singing, dancing and those heaven-sent whistle notes, so why even try?
Last year, during her “retirement”, Justine Henin starred in a TV program called “The 12 Challenges of Justine Henin” where she basically just took part in a load of different and random tasks, usually making a fool out of herself in the process. One such task was singing in a duet with Salvatore Adamo, and she quite literally blew the crowd away, producing easily one of the greatest vocal displays of this millenium. After that sparkling performance, we all prayed that she would pursue singing as a new career. Of course, it didn’t happen as she eventually returned to professional tennis, and we were all left heartbroken. We thought it was all over before it even began, but it wasn’t. Recently she took to the stage again -- this time her performance was complete with some sizzling dance moves and the type of unbashedly godly flasetto notes that inevitably bring only one single thought to mind; “Mariah who?”
You just have to hope that in an era where the
yelping goats Rihannas of this world continue to dominate the charts, real talent like Justine Henin will one day get a chance to thrive and shine. Bravo Justine, bravo.
So, we finally know the reason for that giggle-fest bloopers video a couple of weeks ago. Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal are to play an Exhibition in Zurich. Dubbed “The Match for Africa”, it will be played on the 21st of December with tickets going on sale on September 1st. There is also a facebook page for the event so check that out for more info. Lets hope they stop giggling long enough to actually hit a few balls.
ALSO, some of the best Adidas players in the world sat down for the 10th Anniversary of the Adidas barricade. They all said a few words so check out the Global Village Tennis News podcast from the event. Nice to see Jo-Wilfried and Justine around even though they’re both out of the US Open with injuries.
And finally, there is some footage from the player interviews at the Nike Primetime Knockout event a few days ago.