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March 31, 2005



I think a lot of players are underrated. Take Henin-Hardenne, she was injured and couldn't play in 2004 but went and won the gold medal at the Athens Olympics. Is that a coincidence? I don't think so. It's because she is really good. Then in May 2005, for the second time she became the French-Open Champion, beating Sharapova easily in the quarters and Petrova in the semifinal. She played the almost perfect tennis against Pierce 6-1, 6-1 after Pierce beat Davenport in the other semi-final. The facts show that she is a good player. 3 times she denied Clijsters a grand-slam title. Is that still a coincidence? But for some reason, all the attention goes to Sharapova. And did she win again after her Wimbledon title in 2004? She went to that final in Indian Wells where Clijsters crucified her in 2 straight sets. I do not think Sharapova is a true contender in the women's game. She is number 1 because everybody was injured last year. Then the number 1 ranking last a week. When will real contenders get the attention they deserve?


No doubt Henin-Hardenne is a more accomplished player at this point in her career than Sharapova is. But she doesn't give any indication of wanting all of the off-court attention. She's quiet and keeps to herself. She does the interviews she has to do politely and without complaint, but she avoids extra attention. Yeah, the media are apt to pay more attention to Sharapova just because she pretty but she also gives them a show that JH-H doesn't. Sharapova is still a fantastic player and when she's 23 we'll have to compare her and JH-H's careers. I'll bet they'll be about equal.

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