Justine Henin’s clash with Maria Sharapova in this year’s Australian Open quarterfinals was accompanied with something that proved to be an incident – Sharapova’s father Yuri ran a hand across his throat. Henin didn’t seem to like that and she even complained to the WTA Tour.
The world number one telephoned WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott after her quarterfinal loss to the eventual Australian Open champion.
“I was really annoyed and I telephoned Larry Scott to ask his opinion. He told me that he found the gesture unacceptable,” Henin said.
“You shouldn’t have to see this type of thing in a tennis stadium. It takes away from the image of women’s tennis and can open the door for all types of problems.”
Yuri Sharapov, however, claimed he was sharing Hollywood terminology with his daughter, suggesting his hand movement signified “cut”.
“It’s over,” he offered as an explanation.
By the way, this was not the only thing that drew attention to Yuri Sharapov at the 2008 Australian Open. His ever-present hood was another thing media were talking about all the time, while even his daughter described his look as assassin-like.
To be honest, I don’t see what the big deal is. Maybe if I were in Henin’s place I would have felt differently. I don’t know. But it’s also possible that Henin can’t accept the fact that someone ended her 32-match winning run and in such a decisive way, 6-4 6-0.