Serena Williams

“It was confusing and rightfully so, we needed clarification”

Former Tennis Channel presenter Brad Falkner revealed he was confused after Justine Henin defeated Serena Williams in the 2003 French Open semifinals.

The Belgian player had put his hand up when the American was serving at a crucial point in the match. However, the chair umpire did not see Henin’s hand and called for a second serve, which did not sit well with Williams.

Falkner, who interviewed Henin after the controversial match, mentioned in a podcast episode of On Court-Side with Beilinson Tennis that the whole situation was ‘confusing’.

“Yeah, Mary Carillo, who was commenting on the match, had the same outlook as Steve on it as I did. It was confusing and rightly so,” said the tennis presenter.

The American presenter, who worked for the Tennis Channel for seven years, revealed that he needed clarification as Williams was not upset with Henin and mentioned that he asked his colleague for help to frame the question.

“We needed clarification because Serena wasn’t upset as Steve said Serena said it didn’t cost her the match, so I knew that was a critical question. So I said to Steve, ‘Just write it for me’ and tell me how to write the question,” he said.

It was a Q/A article for Tennis Week. Roger is on the cover because he won Wimbledon that year unfortunately as you know Justine never did. So that edition of Tennis Week, I just asked Steve to tell me how to ask the question verbatim and I did,” Faulkner added.

“She pushed me so much to become a better player”- Justine Henin on Serena Williams

Serena Williams, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova &  Justine Henin during the WTA'  40 Love Celebration
Serena Williams, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova & Justine Henin during the WTA’ 40 Love Celebration

During a recent interview with Eurosport, Justine Henin revealed that Serena Williams pushed her to become a better player.

“Of course she has been a big part of my career, because she pushed me so much to become a better player,” said the Belgian.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion continued by stating that the 23-time Grand Slam champion was the ‘biggest challenge’ for many players on the tour.

“She was my biggest challenge, like many other players, and I feel really grateful and happy that I could be a part of it with Serena, with Venus, with all these champions. But Serena of course, mentally challenged me a lot during my career, and she made me win big matches a couple of times,” said Henin.

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