Belgium hails Henin as Queen of New York
Justine Henin-Hardenne was hailed as a "queen" in her native Belgium on Monday after she captured her second grand slam title of the year at the US Open over the weekend.Updated: Sep 08, 2003 17:35 IST
Justine Henin-Hardenne was hailed as a "queen" in her native Belgium on Monday after she captured her second grand slam title of the year at the US Open over the weekend.
The French daily La Libre Belgique carried a half page picture of the jubilant Henin on its front page with a headline "Justine, Queen of New York" following her 7-5 6-1 pummelling of compatriot Kim Clijsters in the final on Saturday.
The popular daily La Derniere Heure described the feat as "magic" in its full, front page splash of Henin holding aloft the Open trophy.
On the other side of Belgium's linguistic divide, Dutch-language newspapers declared that French-speaking Henin should be the world number ahead of the Flemish Clijsters, who leads the rankings despite not having a grand slam title to her name.
"It is almost inevitable that Henin will take over the top position in the WTA ranking...and rightly so (because of) the way she played this summer and also in this final. Henin is the best player at the moment," the Dutch Het Laatste Nieuws said.
But reaction to Henin's win in New York was more muted compared to her win in the French Open in June, which turned a holiday weekend in Belgium into a 72-hour party across the country.
That win was Belgium's first grand slam singles title and was described as "an historic occasion" by Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.
While the all-Belgian final at Roland Garros helped to bridge the language gap that splits the country, on this occasion, signs of the linguistic tensions have crept through.
"Henin is possessed with the idea of becoming the world's number one. To reach that objective she is prepared, in a ruthless way, to mentally and physically strike down everything that would hinder her," the Dutch-language daily De Standaard said in an editorial.
First Published: Sep 08, 2003 17:35 IST