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Henin completes French Open hat-trick
June 09, 2007 20:04 IST
Last Updated: June 09, 2007 21:08 IST
World number one Justine Henin [Images] completed a rare French Open hat-trick by crushing Serbia's Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 6-2 in the women's final in Paris on Saturday.
Belgian Henin totally dominated her 19-year-old opponent, seeded seventh, to become the first woman to win three successive Roland Garros titles since Monica Seles [Images] in 1992.
Ivanovic, the first player representing Serbia to feature in the final of a Grand Slam tournament, challenged the top seed in the first couple of games but then collapsed.
The 25-year-old Henin, who also won here in 2003, soon took control and stayed on top until sealing victory with a forehand volley on the first match point after 65 minutes of a one-sided contest.
Back at her best after the breakdown of her marriage and her subsequent withdrawal from this year's Australian Open, Henin looked far too strong for Ivanovic, who crushed world number two Maria Sharapova [Images] in the semi-finals.
"I was a bit tense at first but then everything went well," said Henin, who did not drop a set in the tournament.
"I've been through difficult moments at the start of the year but I fought to get over them and now I'm really enjoying myself again," she added.
"When I was little girl, I never dreamed this would happen to me."
Ivanovic was only the shadow of the exciting newcomer who had thrilled the Paris crowd earlier in the tournament. At times she looked helpless.
"There will be more finals," she said. "I started okay but then I became nervous and I couldn't control my serve. What can I say, she's an amazing player."
Looking sluggish at first, Henin saved two break points in the opening game but handed her opponent a third with an unforced error before dropping her service game with a double fault.
The combative Belgian reacted immediately by breaking back with a little help from the net cord before holding serve.
Henin then moved in command by breaking Ivanovic in the fourth game, courtesy of a double fault from the Serbian, and never let go.
After another break in the sixth game, Henin served for the set, wrapping it up with a service winner on the first set point.
A clumsy Ivanovic dropped serve again in the first game of the second set with another double fault.
The issue already looked beyond doubt at that stage, an impression that was confirmed when Henin managed another break in the fifth game.
Henin earned three match points but needed only one to end Ivanovic's suffering and extend her reign as the queen of the Paris claycourt tournament.
The French Open 2007 coverage