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TENNIS - AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Sharapova batters top seed Henin

1 min

In a blistering performance, Maria Sharapova knocked out world number one Justine Henin (photo) in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

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MELBOURNE, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Russian Maria Sharapova
produced a blistering performance to overpower world number one
Justine Henin 6-4 6-0 in the Australian Open quarter-finals on
Tuesday.


The fifth seed was in ebullient mood, smashing 30 winners
as she took a tight first set and ripped through the second to
line up a semi-final against Serbian third seed Jelena
Jankovic.


Sharapova, runner-up in Melbourne last year, had lost six
of her eight meetings with top seed Henin but came out firing
on all cylinders and stormed into a 5-2 lead.


Henin saved two set points as Sharapova was broken when
serving for the set but the Russian broke again to win it and
left the Belgian helpless in the second to reach the last four
for the fourth successive year.


It was Henin's first defeat since last year's Wimbledon,
ending a winning streak of 32 matches, and the first time she
has lost a set 6-0 since 2002.

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