Henin admits thaw in Serena cold war
Henin faces bitter-rival Serena in the Wimbledon quarterfinals but admits a thaw in their stormy relationship.Updated: Jul 03, 2007, 21:52 IST
Justine Henin will renew her bitter rivalry with Serena Williams in the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Wednesday but admits that there has been a thaw in their stormy relationship.
Henin and Williams fell out spectacularly at the 2003 French Open when their semi-final clash was overshadowed by claims of gamesmanship before the American left the court in tears and with the jeers of the Paris crowd ringing in her ears.
But the Belgian, who won that match as well as a Roland Garros rematch last month, insists the two are getting along better.
"It's been much better in the last few months," said the world number one.
"The past is the past. We have a lot of respect for each other. I wouldn't say we chat a lot but the atmosphere is pretty good in the locker room. There is no worry about that."
Henin is chasing a first Wimbledon title which will complete a Grand Slam and she goes into Wednesday's quarter-final with a 6-4 career advantage over Williams.
But the seventh seeded American is a double Wimbledon winner and she won their only previous meeting on grass here in 2003, a straightforward 6-3, 6-2 last eight win.
Williams goes into the match having overcome a crippling attack of cramps in her fourth round win over Daniela Hantuchova on Monday.
"I don't want to lose," said Williams who was saved from defeat against the Slovakian when rain allowed her to take a two-hour respite in the locker room where she had her legs strapped.
"I just want to get better."
Unlike the American, Henin has been untroubled at Wimbledon dropping just 15 games in four matches, routinely winning in double-quick time which has helped her avoid falling victim to the backlog caused by the rain.
"I'm not going to talk about my tactics against Serena," said the top seed.
"I know I am quick and can be powerful when I want. A lot of things have improved in my game. That doesn't mean I am going to win. But when you want to win Grand Slams you have to work hard."
Henin and Williams should have played their quarter-final on Tuesday but the heavy rain on Saturday and Monday meant that the women's fourth round programme was still being completed.
Worryingly, more rain is predicted later Tuesday as well as Wednesday.