Former No. 1 player continues amazing comeback -
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 2005, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Former No. 1 player continues amazing comeback

Henin-Hardenne advances to final
Former No. 1 player continues amazing comeback

The Associated Press
Updated: 6:47 p.m. ET April 16, 2005CHARLESTON, S.C. - Former No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne reached the final of the Family Circle Cup on Saturday in just her second event since returning from illness and injury, beating Tatiana Golovin 7-6 (4), 7-5.


Henin-Hardenne spent most of last year ranked No. 1 but after last years U.S. Open suffered a viral illness and then a knee injury. She is ranked No. 43 and was unseeded going into the Family Circle.

Its great to feel this again, Henin-Hardenne said. Its been a very hard time and Ill have to keep going. Its only one step, another step, but a very important step.

Henin-Hardenne advances to the championship match against the winner of the other semifinal, between second-seeded Elena Dementieva and eighth-seeded Patty Schnyder, who was the runner-up in the event three years ago.

The 17-year-old Golovin, ranked No. 25 and seeded No. 13, had upset both defending tournament champion Venus Williams and then 12th-ranked Nadia Petrova.

Its never great to lose. I hate losing, she said. But you know, Ive played against some amazing players and Ive beat two of them, so Im just really proud of myself.

After losing the first-set tiebreaker, Golovin took a 2-0 lead in the second set. But Henin-Hardenne battled back to take a 4-2 lead following a tough sixth game, which went to deuce seven times. Golovin eventually tied the set at 5-all, then lost two straight.

I havent played against players like Henin much, Golovin said. In order for me to win the French Open, Im going to have to go through players like this you know, who play with spin on clay and (are) hard, so difficult to beat.

Henin-Hardenne reached the semifinals when top-seeded and top-ranked Lindsay Davenport retired with a muscle pull in their quarterfinal match on Friday. Henin-Hardenne was up a game in the third set when Davenport retired.

Henin-Hardenne, who said at the beginning of the week that she was feeling tired, needed almost two hours to dispatch Golovin.

Today, you know, it was just a good fight. It was a long match but I think I was feeling great during the whole match, physically, she said.

Henin-Hardenne said her leg bothered her a bit but with treatment, good massage, its going to be fine.

Henin-Hardenne is looking for her second Family Circle Cup championship in three years. She defeated then top-ranked Serena Williams in the 2003 final, her only other appearance in the event.

2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Henin-Hardenne through to final

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Former world number one Justine Henin-Hardenne reached the Family Circle Cup final with a 7-6 (7/4) 7-5 win over Tatiana Golovin.
The Belgian was playing just her second tournament after being out for six months because of illness and injury.

She edged the first set tiebreak and then broke at the end of the second to clinch victory.

Golovin, 17, was playing in her first Tier I semi and had beaten Venus Williams earlier in the tournament.

After the game, Henin-Hardenne said she had not expected to be playing so well so soon after her comeback.

"I would have signed with my eyes closed if someone said I could be in the quarters in Miami and the final here," Henin-Hardenne said.

"It's great to feel this way again but it's only one step. Another step, but a very important step.

"In the other matches, I was playing well and then getting nervous."

Meanwhile, Golovin said her serve had let her down.

"I really didn't get many free points off my serve, and I think that didn't help me at all," she said.

"But I've played against some amazing players (this week) and I've beaten two of them, so I'm just really proud of myself."

Good to see Tati has won some confidence this week and is very positive and hungry for more

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 2005, 11:07 PM
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well, its great to see golovin aiming high (wanting to win the FO). she could well indeed be a true contender. we'll seehow it goes in the other clay tournies.

justine!YAY!you're back!

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 2005, 11:10 PM
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I actually noticed that Ju seemed bothered by her leg in the 2nd set, but she tried not to let this be obvious, so Tanya won't have her hopes yp!


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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 2005, 11:11 PM
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Thanks, Allez-H! First article I've seen with quotes from the players.

Tatiana and Justine are both right in feeling good about the week they've each had. Both of them have impressed me, for different reasons, and I think both can keep right on getting better during the rest of the season.

Am a little concerned about Justine's leg, which seemed to be bothering her now and then in the match, but am glad to see she is playing it down. Smart girl.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 2005, 11:30 PM
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nice to see you posting again Janie!

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 2005, 11:33 PM
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Thanks! It's fun to be back.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2005, 12:12 AM
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Golovin talking about "winning French Open"? It's good to be ambitious, but better if she could at least win a tier 1 or reach a QF of a slam then we will be more convinced.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2005, 12:14 AM
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it'll sooon be like the men's tournies -
goga, marat, andy, lleyton, agassie - all playing current number one federer.

momo, kimmy, juju, serena, venus - all competing against lindsay.


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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2005, 12:42 AM
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by Shonami Slam
momo, kimmy, juju, serena, venus - all competing against lindsay cool! depth.
Yes! And also Maria, and Elena D.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2005, 01:09 AM
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she's gonna stop by LenaD

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2005, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Henin-Hardenne wins to meet Dementieva in Family Circle final


Knight Ridder Newspapers

CHARLESTON, S.C. - (KRT) - In 2003, Justine Henin-Hardenne rode success at Charleston to the top of the tennis world.

In 2004, Charleston marked the beginning of a precipitous fall.

What of 2005? Henin-Hardenne advanced to Sunday's Family Circle Cup final with a hard-fought 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 victory against Tatiana Golovin. Elena Dementieva, who defeated Patty Schnyder, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0, in Saturday's other semifinal, will stand in Henin-Hardenne's way as she attempts to become only the second unseeded champion in the tournament's 32-year history.

"It's great to feel this again," Henin-Hardenne said. "It's been a very hard time and I'll have to keep it going." When she finished the 2003 season as the world's top-ranked player, Henin-Hardenne said one of the keys to her success was a two-set victory against Serena Williams in the Family Circle Cup final.

After winning the Australian Open to begin 2004, Henin-Hardenne abruptly withdrew from the Family Circle Cup with a malady first thought to be as hypoglycemia. As the illness lingered, she was diagnosed with cytomegalovirus. She tumbled to eighth in the world rankings by the end of the year and entered this year's Family Circle Cup ranked No. 43.

Saturday, Henin-Hardenne looked as if she was finally finding a comfort zone on her favorite surface. Expertly moving Golovin around the court while mixing in the occasional drop shot, Henin-Hardenne contested virtually every game of the match.

Her finest moment came while holding a 3-2 lead in the second set. She broke Golovin's serve during a marathon game that featured seven deuces.

Sniffing a return to the tournament's final, the normally stoic Belgian began to chirp at her good shots and chastise the bad ones.

"On the important points, I played so aggressive. It was very important for myself to win the close games, the tight games," she said. "That's what I did and it helped me to win the match." History would appear to be on Henin-Hardenne's side for Sunday's match. She is undefeated in Charleston (10-0) and owns a 6-1 lifetime edge against Dementieva.

However, Henin-Hardenne recalled the one loss to Dementieva came in 2003 during their only meeting on clay. Dementieva rode that three-set victory to her first professional title.

"She did beat me on clay two years ago in Amelia Island," Henin-Hardenne said. "I had match point, but I lost." Proving her prowess on the surface, Dementieva steamrolled Schnyder during a lopsided third set.

She committed just three unforced errors, ripped 11 winners with her devastating lefty forehand and won all nine of her approaches to the net.

"I was going for the winner on every single shot and I know she doesn't like me to be so aggressive," Dementieva said. "So I was enjoying every single point and I think my base stroke was pretty hard on her. I put on a lot of pressure and she couldn't handle it." Regardless of today's outcome, Charleston's status as the springboard to the future appears secure. For Dementieva, a win against Henin-Hardenne would move the rangy Russian closer to her goal of becoming the country's first-ever top-ranked women's player. Still, she knows she is in for a battle.

"Physically she seems to be stronger," Dementieva said. "She's a little bit bigger than she was and I think she's a bit more powerful. All she needs is ... to get her confidence back." For Henin-Hardenne a victory moves her closer to the player she once was, though she remains skeptical of ever achieving that goal.

"I'm never going to be the same anymore," she said. "A lot of things have changed. I know I'm in the final here. That's what matters right now."


2005, The State (Columbia, S.C.).

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2005, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Dementieva vs. Henin-Hardenne in Final Showdown

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Former world No.1 Justine Henin-Hardenne attempts to complete her comeback from illness and injury on Sunday at the $1.3 million Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, as she takes on world No.5 Elena Dementieva in the championship match at the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Tier I event.
In Saturday's first semifinal, the unseeded Henin-Hardenne held off No.13 seed Tatiana Golovin of France 76(4) 75. In her only previous appearance at the event, Henin-Hardenne won the title in 2003, defeating then-No.1 Serena Williams in straight sets for the title.

"It's great to feel this again," she said. "It's been a very hard time, and I'll have to keep going. It's only one step, but a very important step."

After trading breaks at the outset of the match, the two put on a serving display, holding serve until 5-5. After another pair of breaks, the Belgian raced out to a 4-1 lead in the tie-break, eventually closing it out on her second set point.

Undiscouraged, the 17-year-old Golovin came out on fire in the second set, breaking for a 2-0 lead. Henin-Hardenne answered that by breaking twice en route to four straight games, but the Frenchwoman broke right back to even up the set at 4-4. The two women held onto their serves again until the 12th game, when the Belgian broke one last time to close out the match.

"I just tried all the time, just stayed focused in the match on every point," said Henin-Hardenne, a three-time Grand Slam champion. "On the important points I played so aggressive. It was very important for me to win the close games. That's what I did and it helped me to win the match."

Golovin, who was making her Tier I semifinal debut, had notched her third career Top 10 win earlier in the week with a third round victory over 8th-ranked defending champion Venus Williams, the No.4 seed at the event. She followed that up with a quarterfinal win over 12th-ranked Nadia Petrova, the No.7 seed.

"It's always tough after a match when you lose, but overall I've had such a great week," said the Frenchwoman. "I haven't played against players like Justine much... this is a new experience for me."

"I've got to learn from it because in order for me to win the French Open, I'm going to have to go through players like this, who play with spin on clay and are so difficult to beat."

In the day's second semifinal, second-seeded Moscovite Elena Dementieva blasted 39 winners and blitzed eighth-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland in the third set of a 36 64 60 victory to reach her first final at Charleston. It was a rematch of last year's round of 16 encounter, won routinely by Schnyder.

Schnyder took an early 4-1 lead in the match, holding on to capture the first set 6-3. Dementieva fought back, winning the next three games and eventually clinching the second set by a score of 6-4. The Russian, a 2004 Roland Garros and US Open finalist, kept the momentum going, routing her left-handed opponent in the third set to secure a spot in her fourth career Tier I final.

"when we play against each other, it's always a fight," said Dementieva, who had lost to Schnyder at the Australian Open in January after leading by a set and two breaks. "When it was 4-0 in the third set today, I started thinking a little bit about what happened in Australia, and I was like, not this time, you're going to finish this match no matter what. I think she just give up in the third set. She was so close and she was doing everything right, and she didn't expect me to come back this time."

"No matter what's going on during a match, I just hope for the best. I keep fighting, trying to be very positive. I like when it's close."

"At the end she was really better," said Schnyder after the loss. "I tried to stick with her, I tried to get on the board, but she was too good. She was hitting winners, running, getting my shots and covering the court very well. Her performance was extraordinary at the end. She's a Top 10 player and a champion, so that's the way she can play."

After a spectacular start to 2004, winning four events including the Australian Open, Henin-Hardenne was forced to take time off to battle cytomegalovirus. After making a brief return late in the summer, winning the gold medal at the Athens Olympics and reaching the fourth round at the US Open, she withdrew from the rest of the season to continue her recuperation. In late December, she suffered a right knee injury during practice, delaying her comeback until the NASDAQ-100 Open in March, where she made it all the way to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual finalist Maria Sharapova in three sets.

Playing in just her second tournament of 2005 at Charleston, the 43rd-ranked Henin-Hardenne has battled through a tough draw to reach her second final in as many appearances at the event. She outlasted No.10 seed Jelena Jankovic 57 64 63 in the first round and 48th-ranked Shuai Peng 62 46 64 in the second round, then defeated world No.50 Iveta Benesova 62 63 to reach the quarterfinals, where she advanced when world No.1 and top seed Lindsay Davenport retired down 36 63 10 with a hip injury.

Dementieva has had a strong start to 2005, reaching the semifinals at Sydney and Indian Wells, and the quarterfinals at Tokyo and Miami. After withdrawing from Amelia Island due to a hip injury, the Russian has made an impressive start to the claycourt season at Charleston. After a first round bye, she defeated 57th-ranked compatriot Alina Jidkova 64 64 in the second round and 63rd-ranked Nuria Llagostera Vives 60 63 in the third round. In the quarterfinals, she outlasted 53rd-ranked Katarina Srebotnik 63 57 64.

Henin-Hardenne and Dementieva have played seven times previously, with the Belgian holding a 6-1 head-to-head lead. Henin-Hardenne won their first three meetings in straight sets, all of which were in 2002. In their next meeting, the only one thus far on clay, Dementieva overcame a large third set deficit and a match point in the semifinals at Amelia Island in 2003, winning 36 64 75. Henin-Hardenne then won their next three meetings, all held later in 2003, the most recent of which was a 75 60 victory in the quarterfinals at Filderstadt.

"She's hitting the ball so hard," said Henin-Hardenne on Dementieva. "She's very solid at the baseline. I'll have to play aggressive. I'll have to go to the net a little bit more and just play my game."

"It's going to be a great experience to play tomorrow against her," said Dementieva on playing Henin-Hardenne for the title. "I think it's nice to see her coming back. She's in good shape and for me to play against her, that's a great challenge."

"I just lost to Kim twice in a row, and I was like so happy not to see her playing this tournament, but there is another Belgian here."

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2005, 11:46 AM
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and golovin is actually thinking about winning the french!?

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2005, 12:31 PM
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i wouldnt exactly say its been amazing! Im not saying this because im a Lindsay fan, but if lindsay wasnt injured and pulled out, theres no way justine would have made it through to the semis

Say what you like about Davenport, but shes achieved what most others could only dream of!

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2005, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by lindsayno1
i wouldnt exactly say its been amazing! Im not saying this because im a Lindsay fan, but if lindsay wasnt injured and pulled out, theres no way justine would have made it through to the semis
You're saying this because you're a Lindsay fan and it has been amazing


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