Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Justine Henin - Guilty As Charged

by Savannah

In an amazing television interview Justine Henin admits that she cheated by raising her hand in that match against Serena Williams and justifies it by saying part of the Williams sisters on court demeanor involved intimidation. First the French followed by an English translation done by tennis head "Apoleb".

"Peut-être que j'aurais dû dire, qu'effectivement j'avais levé la main, même si je reste de manière très honnête convaincue que c'est pas ça qui a changé le cours des choses, parce que si j'avais été persuadée, je pense, qu'elle l'avait vu, qu'elle avait été perturbée par ça, je pense que j'aurais vraiment réagi. Maintenant, y'a beaucoup de tension, on agit un peu à l'instinct, donc c'est vrai que c'est pas le meilleur souvenir... en même temps, ce qui allait se passer derrière était magique... Voilà, je ne sais pas si c'est le tournant du match. J'espère ne pas être de mauvaise foi en disant ça."
"C'était peut-être une façon de me faire respecter [fail ], parce qu'il faut savoir que les Williams ont quand même eu des attitudes qui parfois étaient difficiles [...] Elles ont énormément joué, beaucoup, à l'intimidation. Faut savoir que quand on jouait une Williams, et qu'on marchait vers le court, vers l'entrée du court, il y avait toujours la deuxième à côté. Parce qu'elles deux, elles montraient qu'elles étaient deux en permanence. Une ça impressionne déjà, donc deux..."

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.

The highlighted section can be translated as "I hope I don't appear biased"

So it was okay to cheat and then lie about it because she was scared of Venus Williams and Serena Williams?

She also says that she lost to Marion Bartoli at Wimbledon because Venus had already made the final and she didn't want to play her.
The screencap above created by "Shinjiro" shows Henin during the interview laughing at the expression on Serena's face after her lie.

She doesn't stop there. She admits that the ball she insisted Kim Clijsters hit out at the Australian Open in 2004 was in, and that she knew it was in.

Ironically no mention is made of the 2006 Australian Open where she retired against Amelie Mauresmo with what was said to be gastric distress.

It should also be pointed out that at no time does she apologize for any of this.
Here is a LINK to the entire interview for French speakers. It's an hour and a half long.

So what will the WTA do? I'm not sure what they can do. If a player admits they cheated and by doing so knowingly affected the outcome of a match can the win be nullified and the win granted to the loser? Henin apologists are already making the excuse that when the hand incident took place Serena was ahead and that when the incident against Clijsters happened Kim was behind. And?

I guess this means that Henin is really retired because I don't think anyone in their right mind will want anything to do with her.

I feel for the fans who really liked her and enjoyed her game and while tempted I won't do the "I told you so" dance. Once again Justine Henin manages to give a black eye to the sport that made her rich and that she claims to love so much.

1 comment:

Karen said...

As I told a tennis buddy of mine, we all knew she cheated during that match against Serena. Her coach admitted and tv cameras saw it. Every single tennis fan knew that she cheated and we were quite fine with that because we knew that despite her beautiful game, we could never become fans of someone who would stoop so low to win a tennis match.

Now, many years later she is now telling us what we already knew. For what purpose? We don't care. I know I don't care. Do I still enjoy watching her play. Always have, always will. Will I now become a fan because she has confessed. Hell no.

There are many reasons why people become fans of players. Whether it is their game, attitude, personalities, character etc. I never became a fan of Justine and this was long before the Hand Incident. May she go away and live under the rock forever and ever.