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2 on 2

Who can stop Serena and Venus? Tiny Belgium just may have a pair of answers.

Updated: May 13, 2003, 8:30 PM ET
By By Lindsay Berra
Bonjour. (That's French.) Goedemiddag. (That's Flemish.) Welcome to Belgium, famous for chocolate, a statue that pees and tennis players. Yes, tennis players. Go ahead, crack a waffle joke. Get it out of your system. But then check the rankings. Serena Williams, then a Belgian. Venus Williams, then another Belgian. That's Kim Clijsters in the two-spot and Justine Henin-Hardenne in the four. You won't see their pictures in a Rough Guide or a Lonely Planet, but if you haven't seen Clijsters slide her muscled legs into the splits to keep the ball in play, or Henin-Hardenne's fiercely beautiful one-handed backhand, you're missing some of the best of what Belgium has to offer.

It's rare that two players from such a tiny country can burst into the Top 5 -- about as rare, say, as having two players from the same family reside in the Top 5. Chalk the latter up to the gene pool and an obsessive father; the former to a combination of chance and national pride. Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne bring the conventional tools of mere mortals -- speed, versatility, flexibility, focus -- against the power tools of the Williams sisters.

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