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Applez
01-29-2006, 05:38 PM
Shriver: Henin-Hardenne's reputation is tarnished
By Pam Shriver



I wasn't surprised when after the first set of the Australian Open final, Justine Henin-Hardenne went into the locker room and did what so many players do when they are losing: Take an extended bathroom break and maybe call the trainer.

It happens so often, and that's what I thought was going on.

But trailing 2-0 in the second set, when she took that first step to the net after the injury time out and said she couldn't continue, that's when my stomach hit the floor.

A major final to a tennis player is sacred ground. Short of any type of serious injury -- soft-tissue tears, serious orthopedic injuries or a major illness like throwing up, dehydration or cramping -- you keep going, especially in the final of a Slam.

Henin-Hardenne obviously wasn't 100 percent and had some stomach discomfort. Only she knows how much, but to see her call it was stunning to me.

Henin-Hardenne (right) had been the biggest warrior in the women's game the last three years.She has been one of the great warriors of women's tennis the last three years. My respect level disintegrated when I not only saw what happened on the court, but when I took in the press conference.

I was incredibly disappointed with her rationale of quitting. She didn't feel like she had enough on her shots, knew she didn't have it and didn't sleep well. I'm sorry, this is a major final. It's almost like it didn't occur to her what she had just done. (She's just the fourth player to retire in a women's final of a Grand Slam.)

When she's been on the court playing the game she's been the best competitor in women's tennis. So what got into her to throw in the towel?

In my mind, the only thing that may have justified it is if she thought the virus condition which cost her most of the 2004 season could come back and be triggered by whatever she was feeling.

It had to be something more major than just a poor anti-inflammatory reaction in the stomach. I took more anti-inflammatories probably than anybody in my 20 years of playing and I know what that terrible stomach pain can be. I also know what terrible menstruation cramps can be, as most women tennis players have, to the point where you feel nauseous, but you just play on.

So much still could have happened in that match. Amelie Mauresmo has never closed out a Grand Slam final before. It's possible you start to feel a little bit better. You give every last shot.

Is Henin-Hardenne that flushed having won four major titles that the fifth one she could just discard when she was down 2-0 in the second set?

In regular tournaments, players throw in the towel occasionally for one reason or another. Clearly Henin-Hardenne was sub-par, but that doesn't matter. There are certain caliber events -- Olympics, major finals, Daytona 500, the Masters, Super Bowl --- where you just suck it up.

Can you imagine how many of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks are going to have massive physical problems in the Super Bowl? And they are going to suck it up.

I got to one Grand Slam final, and that's what you shoot for as a player. Henin-Hardenne just wasted one because her stomach was hurting a lot?

Mauresmo could have turned an ankle, she could have choked terribly. She could have seized up and not been able to hit her forehand in the court. Matches have turned around in a lot more peculiar ways than what we saw.

I think Henin-Hardenne's reputation is tarnished forever. The tennis beat writers will never let her forget this. And it's not a first. Remember there was the 2003 French Open serving incident against Serena Williams, when she held her hand up on a Williams serve to signal she wasn't ready, then pretended like she did nothing.

She is going to be known as much for these incidents on the court as she is for all the Grand Slam finals she won.

Roberto Duran was a great fighter, but what is he known for? No mas, no mas (in his 1980 rematch against Sugar Ray Leonard).

Time will tell, and maybe some better explanation will come out in a month or two. Maybe there is a better reason and there's still a chance for this to make sense.

But so far it doesn't.

ESPN tennis analyst Pam Shriver won 21 singles and 112 doubles crowns, including 22 Grand Slam titles, and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2002.

West Coast Ace
01-29-2006, 05:45 PM
Saw it earlier today. Typical Shriver drivel - she's a bitter old hag who only won majors because Navratilova carried her on her back. The NFL analogy was the stupidest thing I've read in a long time.

FalconX
01-29-2006, 05:49 PM
doesn't hurt if some of these former pros turned tv announcer take some journalism courses. It's really hard to follow what they write sometimes. Sounds like someone jotted down anything that popped into her head. So many Random sentences with no relevance to eachother and no transitions.

wtaplayerz
01-29-2006, 05:53 PM
Wow Shocking!!!

vllockhart
01-29-2006, 06:04 PM
I just love how everyone else can tell Henin the way she felt during that match. Especially a spaz like Shriver. Sounds like a bit of sour grapes to me. Number of singles majors won by Henin:5. Number won by Shriver: 0.

She cannot say definitively how severe the reaction to the medication was. Your stomach area is your core, if that is bothering you badly, it's very debilitating. If Henin didn't have her legs under her, then just standing on the court for 4 more games would have been more hollow than the retirement.

People, it's a sport. You don't have to "die" to play it I don't care how much is at stake. How ticked would everyone have been if Henin decided not to step on the court at all?

West Coast Ace
01-29-2006, 06:11 PM
I just love how everyone else can tell Henin the way she felt during that match. Especially a spaz like Shriver. Sounds like a bit of sour grapes to me. Number of singles majors won by Henin:5. Number won by Shriver: 0.

She cannot say definitively how severe the reaction to the medication was. Your stomach area is your core, if that is bothering you badly, it's very debilitating. If Henin didn't have her legs under her, then just standing on the court for 4 more games would have been more hollow than the retirement.

People, it's a sport. You don't have to "die" to play it I don't care how much is at stake. How ticked would everyone have been if Henin decided not to step on the court at all?Excellent post! Thank you.

FalconX
01-29-2006, 06:13 PM
You know after thinking about it for a couple of days, I'm leaning towards believing there was really something wrong with Henin which prevented her from playing at her best.

And quitting against Mauresmo?With her history of choking you are better off trying to let her win it. Who knows, she might have choked again.

To me, mauresmo wasn't playing that well. There were so few winners coming off her racquet. She was hitting a lot of short balls. Only if Henin would get on top of the baseline and run around some those backhands she could have takens some shots and make mauresmo run.

Richie Rich
01-29-2006, 06:14 PM
doesn't hurt if some of these former pros turned tv announcer take some journalism courses. It's really hard to follow what they write sometimes. Sounds like someone jotted down anything that popped into her head. So many Random sentences with no relevance to eachother and no transitions.

i'm sure her journalism is way better than a journalist's tennis game.

West Coast Ace
01-29-2006, 06:17 PM
You know after thinking about it for a couple of days, I'm leaning towards believing there was really something wrong with Henin which prevented her from playing at her best.

And quitting against Mauresmo?With her history of choking you are better off trying to let her win it. Who knows, she might have choked again.

To me, mauresmo wasn't playing that well. There were so few winners coming off her racquet. She was hitting a lot of short balls. Only if Henin would get on top of the baseline and run around some those backhands she could have takens some shots and make mauresmo run.I was with you until you said "Mauresmo was hitting a lot of short balls." I thought she definitely won the battle of depth - they showed Henin's ShotSpot distribution but didn't show Mauresmo's.

FalconX
01-29-2006, 07:39 PM
I was with you until you said "Mauresmo was hitting a lot of short balls." I thought she definitely won the battle of depth - they showed Henin's ShotSpot distribution but didn't show Mauresmo's.

they showed henin's ball distribution but didn't showed mauresmo's. She was hitting with a lot of topspin. Whenever you do that it usually lands shorts. They were jumping 4-5 fit on the bounce.

Max G.
01-29-2006, 07:43 PM
i'm sure her journalism is way better than a journalist's tennis game.

But retired journalists don't try to play professional tennis, retired tennis players do try to become journalists. Hence the criticism.

sureshs
01-29-2006, 10:24 PM
It is really hard to tell if Justine was faking it.

Evidence against her:

On Friday, she said she was never feeling better (but could be to not reveal any pain she may have been feeling to her opponent).

She had no obvious physical problems in the first set, and in the beginning of the second.

PMac said during the men's final broadcast that he saw her carrying 2 bags and walking towards the car after the match with no problem.

Evidence supporting her:

She was certainly not playing her best in the first set.

When I saw her hit the last couple of shots, she was visibly in pain (unless she was acting).

Her health has been unstable of late.

Pam Shriver says anti-inflammatories do cause severe stomach pain. Today's level of play is much higher and more demanding than in Shriver's time.

And of course Justine's own statement.

singer
01-29-2006, 10:30 PM
But then, just a point before, she won a 30+ shot rally.

After everything is said and done, it looks like she should have played on even if she had lost 6-0. Yeah, it would have been one sided and not a great match to watch. But then people are used to seeing bad finals ( Serena vs Venus just for starters.... sorry could not resist ).

Bones08
01-29-2006, 10:56 PM
At least they play when injured. How many times was Venus hurt, let's see-us open 2002-Blister and thigh
AO 03-Thigh and shoulder
Wimby 03-Bad Abdominal Strain

Noelle
01-29-2006, 11:14 PM
Shriver's article could have benefited immensely from an editor carrying a red pen. :| I just couldn't understand what she was trying to say because it jumped around so much.

Applez
01-29-2006, 11:30 PM
Even a 5 year old could very well understand what Pam is talking about

I've always believed that you can think positive just as well as you can think negative

jukka1970
01-29-2006, 11:36 PM
First, thanks for the article, was an enjoyable read.

I don't think Shriver is as bitter as some of the other posters think. And as for the absurd post on Navratilova carrying Shriver through all their double matches, let us know when you return to Earth with that statement. Doubles takes two people, and sorry but both players have to be playing well to win as a team.

As For Henin-Hardenne which the post is about. I don't think she was faking it, and I think another poster brought up a good point, maybe she was seriously worried about the Virus coming back. I mean lets face it, that virus was scary stuff and knocked her out for quite a while. But now with all that said, she still should have played.

My problem with Henin didn't start until her name became Henin-Hardenne. I sware since she's gotten married, she's become a real witch. I loved watching her play, and was psyched to see a new upcomming star (this being before she started winning slams). Then she gets married, and all hell breaks loose. She pulls the crap she did at the French Open, and now this? I'm starting to think a lot of pressures got added to her ever since the marriage. I mean we all know what relationships can do to anyone let alone athletes, just look at relationships in the past, so one can just imagine what marriage could bring. Now I'm not saying she shouldn't have gotten married, and maybe it doesn't have anything to do with the huge change in her, but you have to admit the timing of it all would say otherwise.

To me she should have continued because it is a slam, and I agree with Shriver, an upset stomach is not a reason to forfeit the final. She cheated Mauresmo out of an experience, and no I don't think Henin cheated before someone responds to the post. Mauresmo deserved to get the experience any other winner would have gotten. Could Mauresmo have choked, possibly, but she was playing very well, and probably wouldn't have blown it this time. It also cheats the fans as well as the people who bought the tickets. I have to agree with Shriver, unless you've actually injured yourself, like Clijsters did when she turned her ankle, you should continue. It's part of sportsmanship. If you're injured it's a whole different story, like what the US did at the summer Olympics well Kelly Struggs (sp?) vaulted on that bad foot, that to me was dumb. You don't risk ending your entire career on a moment. So I'm not against a withdrawal due to an actual injury, but an upset stomach, come on.

John

Applez
01-30-2006, 12:05 AM
First, thanks for the article, was an enjoyable read.

I don't think Shriver is as bitter as some of the other posters think. And as for the absurd post on Navratilova carrying Shriver through all their double matches, let us know when you return to Earth with that statement. Doubles takes two people, and sorry but both players have to be playing well to win as a team.

As For Henin-Hardenne which the post is about. I don't think she was faking it, and I think another poster brought up a good point, maybe she was seriously worried about the Virus coming back. I mean lets face it, that virus was scary stuff and knocked her out for quite a while. But now with all that said, she still should have played.

My problem with Henin didn't start until her name became Henin-Hardenne. I sware since she's gotten married, she's become a real witch. I loved watching her play, and was psyched to see a new upcomming star (this being before she started winning slams). Then she gets married, and all hell breaks loose. She pulls the crap she did at the French Open, and now this? I'm starting to think a lot of pressures got added to her ever since the marriage. I mean we all know what relationships can do to anyone let alone athletes, just look at relationships in the past, so one can just imagine what marriage could bring. Now I'm not saying she shouldn't have gotten married, and maybe it doesn't have anything to do with the huge change in her, but you have to admit the timing of it all would say otherwise.

To me she should have continued because it is a slam, and I agree with Shriver, an upset stomach is not a reason to forfeit the final. She cheated Mauresmo out of an experience, and no I don't think Henin cheated before someone responds to the post. Mauresmo deserved to get the experience any other winner would have gotten. Could Mauresmo have choked, possibly, but she was playing very well, and probably wouldn't have blown it this time. It also cheats the fans as well as the people who bought the tickets. I have to agree with Shriver, unless you've actually injured yourself, like Clijsters did when she turned her ankle, you should continue. It's part of sportsmanship. If you're injured it's a whole different story, like what the US did at the summer Olympics well Kelly Struggs (sp?) vaulted on that bad foot, that to me was dumb. You don't risk ending your entire career on a moment. So I'm not against a withdrawal due to an actual injury, but an upset stomach, come on.

John


yw John

Excellent post

scotus
01-30-2006, 12:11 AM
JHH has been my favorite female player, and even after the incident, she still is.

I think she has perhaps the most competitive spirit on the tour, and while it helps her win slams, it also contributes to some of her faults. What she did against Serena before and against Amelie two days ago are probably the undesirable byproduct of that extremely competitive spirit.

As far as her "excuse" goes, I do believe that she was having a serious problem on the court that day, because Justine on a normal day would play very competitively against Mauresmo, if not soundly defeat the Frenchwoman.

And from personal experience, I know how deadly those anti-inflammatories can be. You pop just a couple of those on an empty stomach and within 15-20 minutes you could feel like there is a volcano erupting inside your stomach. You will be in no condition to compete.

I do, however, concede that Justine should have stayed in the match and taken the defeat, even if it meant going out like Andre Agassi did in the first round of the French Open last year. In other words, she did not need to put up a big fight, but at least go through the motion and let Mauresmo celebrate the win.

Justine is not the most virtuous person in the world, but that's not exactly what I look for in a tennis player. I still like the way she competes and the type of tennis she produces. I hope she learn a good lesson from this incident and mature.

Congrats to Mauresmo. I've always thought that she had the most complete all-court game among women. All she needed was that extra mental strength. I look forward to future match-ups between JHH and Mauresmo.

Noelle
01-30-2006, 12:12 AM
Even a 5 year old could very well understand what Pam is talking aboutOh, I knew what she was talking about, except she was talking around it rather than actually talking about it straight. When I said "I couldn't understand it" I meant I couldn't understand the article's structure. I had no problems understanding the article's content.

arosen
01-30-2006, 12:28 AM
I agree with Noelle, Pam was beating around the bush forever, trying to make an article out of something that could be said in one or two sentences; however, she gets paid by the word, probably.

Applez
01-30-2006, 12:36 AM
Some people think by infection, catching an opinion like a cold

Now back to the topic at hand

he, he

heavyraket
01-30-2006, 12:43 AM
Pam was right on.

janipyt05
01-30-2006, 01:42 AM
i believe jhh had some problems not big enough to quit though, she did cheat amelie from her very first g.s that feeling she will never ever get back, jhh should know what it feels like to finally cross that line. When she played sharapova i didn't see she had any problems she claims that she was not feelign well for 2 days. She never aloud the meds that the doc gave her to work, she quit becasue it was all about her and she didn't want to be embrassed. she knows that no one will ever know what really went on in her head so she can say what she likes. only problem is fans around the world will not like it. she doesn't have any sportsmanship at all.

Richie Rich
01-30-2006, 04:17 AM
Oh, I knew what she was talking about, except she was talking around it rather than actually talking about it straight. When I said "I couldn't understand it" I meant I couldn't understand the article's structure. I had no problems understanding the article's content.

well if you understood the content then Pam got her point across. i'm sure that's all she wanted to do.

Kaptain Karl
01-30-2006, 02:17 PM
I composed this for another thread. It fits here. Shriver is correct (poor editing aside).

I don't think a player is owned by anyone, including the public, even if they get paid handsomely. They don't feel like playing, fine, I don't want anyone to go through pain for my visual satisfaction.Marius - You disappoint me with your *distortion* of the arguments against JHH, this way. You have (purposely?) rephrased the arguments to make those of us who are outraged by Justine's hubris appear ... petty. The truth appears to be that Justine is the petty one.

Just look at Kim. Was she clever in insisting to play? NO, by overcompensating for her hip injury she got herself a torn ankle.Interesting assertion, but one you cannot support. (All your excellent posts on health issues notwithstanding.)

I still don't understand why so many wanted her to stay out there and go through the motions ... This sense of Entitlement in this country these days is amazing - and sad.Another example of a Member disingenuously rephrasing the argument (sense of entitlement) to make it easier to attack it. (In Debate this is known as a "Straw Man.")

Many are underestimating the stomach pain.Angelo - When you don't know your subject, you shouldn't *advertise* it so plainly. You do not know what you are posting about. *Most people* -- especially world-class athletes -- know not to take these drugs on an empty stomach and therefore, benefit from them properly.

Doubling up on the anti-inflammatory stuff is pretty bad as well.You are arguing from the viewpoint of "the most extreme misuse" of the drugs. Back in college, I had such a wrecked shoulder, I'd take (sometimes) four times the prescribed dose before a match. My Coach would wait until I warmed-up to create the lineup and give it to the other Coach. (It was youthful stupidity and I would *not* recommend this to anyone. I appear to have avoided any of the permanent damage I risked by doing this. [Twitch, twitch!])

And the level of pain as such is taxing on the mind, body and just sucks your energy. It's something you can't just overcome.Phooey! Same response as above ^^^.

(45 minutes before my college match, I could not pull on a shirt without help. My friends would marvel that they'd see me out on the court an hour later. The adrenaline and endorphins of competition have an amazing ability to help one raise one's capability to perform. I've been there....)
____________

HOWEVER ... no matter if you're getting thumped by an opponent's superior game and/or strategy on a particular day, YOU PLAY ON. I really wish that Justine had continued ... There is a time and place for good sportsmanship, and the final of a GS is certainly one of them.

Examples have been given (Agassi, FO05, SamprasUSO95, even MurrayUSO06) of players fighting through adversity for the sake of either winning, or to ensure they don't take anything away from their opponent. Justine should have done the same. Here! Here! Precisely.

[I'm reminded of a Semi-final in (some) Slam event: Newk had *match point* on his Serve and might have been able to serve an ace (He was serving especially well that day.) despite having severely sprained his ankle just before that. Newk retired to his opponent. ... When asked "Why?" in a post-match interview, Newk was amazed that the Reporter even needed to ask. Newk replied that the he knew he would not be able to compete in the Final -- that the fans and the sport of tennis deserved a well-contested Final; not images of Newk hobbling around the court.]

Nieminen / Agassi in last year's French Open is an example of what an honorable sports competitor does in a situation like JHH's....

- KK

Craig Sheppard
01-30-2006, 02:28 PM
Even a 5 year old could very well understand what Pam is talking about

I've always believed that you can think positive just as well as you can think negative

Exactly, Applez. Everyone else is just nitpicking Shriver b/c they think they could do a better job (probably couldn't) but don't have the opportunity, so the best they can do is rip on Pam.

Read that article and you (or any 8 year old) get a few clear points: Pam thinks in an event of this magnitude, you do whatever it takes to finish a final. She draws comparisons to other sports, saying in big events, you do whatever you have to do to finish--you DON'T QUIT. Pam also thinks that her reputation is tarnished forever...

That's just about all the major points I needed to get out of Pam's article, which I agree with. JHH is a quitter now, and forever will be. She was well enough to do a press conference, carry her bags off the court, hit a 30-ball rally a few points before quitting, etc. I don't buy it one bit... She probably didn't want to go down 6-2, 6-0 and thought claiming some "debilitating" illness was more noble. Guess she miscalculated that one.

wally
01-30-2006, 02:40 PM
I just love how everyone else can tell Henin the way she felt during that match. Especially a spaz like Shriver. Sounds like a bit of sour grapes to me. Number of singles majors won by Henin:5. Number won by Shriver: 0.

She cannot say definitively how severe the reaction to the medication was. Your stomach area is your core, if that is bothering you badly, it's very debilitating. If Henin didn't have her legs under her, then just standing on the court for 4 more games would have been more hollow than the retirement.

People, it's a sport. You don't have to "die" to play it I don't care how much is at stake. How ticked would everyone have been if Henin decided not to step on the court at all?


With all due respect Pam Shriver suffers from a condition call endometriosis (look it up for details) this produces almost unbearable cramps at that time of the month, migraines etc.. . My wife suffers from this and played college tennis. She explained it to me as your worst ever hangover gut with the pounding headache. Now go out and try to hit a serve....
The point here is that Shriver does know a something about playing in pain and gutting out a match.

I tend to agree that NONE of know what was really happing in Henin's gut/abdomen. Looking at the replays of the her last two backhands I thought she'd strained or pulled and AB muscle. She really winces on the follow through. If you can't play don't whether its 6-1 6-0 or 6- 2-0 ret it is still a bad loss

Just my $.02

freelancer
01-30-2006, 03:57 PM
I'm guessing that the match wasn't actually fixed, but you gotta admit that it's a bit odd how the only Grand Slam title that Mauresmo came when 3 people retired on her. I wonder if that many people have ever retired on one person in a Grand Slam before. Would be interesting to research.

Kaptain Karl
01-30-2006, 04:13 PM
... It's a bit odd how the only Grand Slam title that Mauresmo came when 3 people retired on her....Cue the funky conspiratorial background music....

- KK

Moose Malloy
01-30-2006, 04:24 PM
When Mac won the '79 US Open, he got a walkover in the 3rd Round & a retirement (after only 3 games) in the QF.

mellofelow
01-30-2006, 09:50 PM
The NFL analogy was the stupidest thing I've read in a long time.

Wow... you really showed your ignorance - big time! I play hockey and follow the Stanley cup religiously. Talk about sucking it up, the NHL and NFL players deserve the upmost respect among any sport.

One of the announcer stated at the begining of the Cup, "If you're not playing hurt, you haven't played hard enough to get to the cup" These warriors are bruised, broken, bloody & stitched but will still lay it all out on the ice.

Granted tennis is not a team sport, but let's not forget what the sport has done for Henin.

Regardless of anyone's opinion, this is one publicity the TENNIS world/sport does NOT need.