Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

  • Scores killed as Israel ramps up Gaza bombardment

    Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • France evacuates its nationals from Libya

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Karzai’s cousin killed in Afghan suicide attack

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

Sport

Belgium's Henin beats Russia's Petrova to reach semi-finals

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-01-26

Belgium's Justine Henin overcame a determined Nadia Petrova 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 Tuesday to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open in her first Grand Slam since making a comeback to the sport. She now faces China's Zheng Jie.

REUTERS - Justine Henin continued her remarkable return to competitive tennis with a 7-6 7-5 victory over 19th seed Nadia Petrova to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open on Tuesday. The seven-times grand slam winner, playing only her second tournament back after returning from an 18-month retirement, will next meet either China's Zheng Jie or Maria Kirilenko for a place in the final.

"It was difficult to find the energy today and finally I came back in the second set and played much more aggressive tennis and I am very happy," Henin said in a courtside interview.

"It will be a tough match," she said of her last four tie. "Both of them are playing great. We are in a semi-finals of the grand slam and I hope I will be at my best to make another final here in Melbourne."

The 27-year-old Belgian's return to the game would be even more remarkable if it had not so closely mirrored that of compatriot Kim Clijsters, who won last year's U.S. Open in her third tournament back from a two-year layoff.

Henin managed to push Clijsters all the way in a momentus final in Brisbane before the Australian Open began, and produced another vintage performance when she beat fifth seed Elena Dementieva in the second round.

On Tuesday, she again faced another huge challenge in Petrova, who had already knocked out Clijsters and French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova on her way to the quarter-finals.

Henin took a 4-2 lead in the first set when Petrova served three double faults in the one game but, having changed her racket, the Russian managed to fight back and seized the initiative when she broke Henin in the 10th game.

The Russian took a 6-5 lead but Henin held her nerve to send it into a tie-break, which the former world number one won 7-3.

Petrova raced away to an early 3-0 advantage in the second set, only for Henin, punching and counter-punching and setting up winners with pinpoint accuracy and angles, to claw her way back to 3-3, prompting a string of shouts of "allez".

The players then held serve until the final game, when Henin took the initiative with a forehand winner to set up match point, which she converted when a Petrova backhand sailed long.

 

Date created : 2010-01-26

COMMENT(S)