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Home > Sports > Tennis > Wimbledon Championships 2007 > Reuters > Report


Henin rejects five sets for women

Padraic Halpin | July 03, 2007 01:10 IST

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Justine Henin's [Images] stroll into the Wimbledon quarter-finals, losing just 15 games in four rounds, may not be helping the argument that women are earning their equal share of this year's prize money.

However the top-seeded Belgian does not believe extending the women's game to best of five set matches would silence the doubters.

"I'm not really sure we have the game because the level will drop," Henin told Reuters after defeating 15th seed Patty Schnyder in just under an hour.

"It's tough, when I see the guys playing five sets. I think it's great but they are stronger than us."

Henin is in little doubt however that, given the popularity of the women's game, Wimbledon organisers made the correct decision to award both equal prize money across the board.

"I think it's a question of respect and it's finally fair. We do a lot for the sport and the fans love women's tennis."

"I think when you see the guys serve a lot of aces, you want to see more rallies and that's why the fans love to see the girls on the court"

The world number one, chasing the only title required to complete a career grand slam collection, could face former champion Serena Williams [Images] in an appetising last eight clash.

She believes the game has changed significantly since she faced Serena's sister Venus in her first Wimbledon final six years ago.

"It's much more powerful now than it was a few years ago. Physically it's much harder and we have to work harder than we did in the past.

Their hard work is being rewarded with last week's announcement of an $84 million (41.6 million pound) deal to bring the season-ending championship to Doha and Istanbul from 2008 to 2013.

But the increased money is not what drives the six-times grand slam champion.

"It's good for everyone but I'm not really concerned about money, that's not really why I'm playing tennis.

"There is a lot of money because we work hard and make a lot of sacrifices but the passion of the game is the only thing that really counts for me."

© Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.



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