Roland Garros Re-Lived 2003: Henin and Clijsters – it’s complicated

Justine Henin won the first of her four Roland Garros titles in 2003, beating Serena Williams in a controversial semi-final and Kim Clijsters in a one-sided final.

With the help of Mary Carillo, we look back on those rivalries which shaped Henin’s career as well as her very strong record at the French Open during the mid-2000s.

What made Henin such a threat to Serena? Did Henin and Clijsters like each other? What caused their rivalry to be a bit weird? How did it evolve? And why did Henin have such a special connection with Roland Garros?

Finally, we hear from Henin herself who talks about the importance of rivalries and the way in which they made her a better player.

The Tennis Podcast is presented by Catherine Whitaker and David Law, featuring Matt Roberts. It is produced weekly year-round, and daily during the Grand Slam tournaments. It is crowdfunded by listeners each December. 


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We are producing daily shows throughout the original Roland Garros dates, looking back on 15 classic matches and stories from the tournament’s history. Tomorrow’s focus will be Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer in the 2005 semi-final, which is available in full on YouTube. We will also be doing editions for Wimbledon.


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