Emergency Meeting Before Toronto Finals; Petrova to Play If Henin Couldn't
Top-ranked Henin rallies past Jankovic, wins Toronto title
Aug. 19, 2007
CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
TORONTO -- Justine Henin defeated Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 on Sunday to win the Rogers Cup, her first tournament since losing in the semifinals at Wimbledon.
Henin has won all seven meetings against the third-ranked Jankovic.
Jankovic had a 4-1 lead in the opening set before Henin pulled even, eventually winning in a tiebreaker.
Henin kept up her strong play in the second set, winning her sixth title of the season in the warm-up to the U.S. Open.
"It's important to win this kind of match," Henin said. "It gives you a lot of confidence and it (was) very emotional too. It was so intense and we could feel it on the court."
The 25-year-old Henin was bothered by a sore right shoulder and wasn't sure she would be able to play until a few hours before the match. She needed massage treatment after her semifinal and again Sunday morning. Henin finally declared herself ready after hitting some balls at a morning practice session.
Tournament organizers came up with a backup plan at an emergency meeting late Saturday. If Henin could not play, Jankovic would have been awarded the win but still would have played a fun match against Nadia Petrova of Russia, who lost to Henin in the quarterfinals.
Justine Henin is glad she plays despite feeling far less than 100 percent. (AP)
Henin, who said her shoulder was fine after she got it warm, has a more complete game than Jankovic and she took advantage before a near-sellout crowd of 10,251 at the Rexall Centre. Henin matched groundstrokes with Jankovic throughout, using her speed and effective net play to keep the pressure on.
The game of the match came at 5-5 in the second set with the players going to deuce nine times before Henin eventually won it. After several excellent rallies and a whopping nine deuces, Henin took it when a Jankovic forehand hit the net.
"It was one of the toughest games I've ever had," Henin said.
Said Jankovic: "I think both of us played very well. A high level of tennis, so it was great for fans to see that and I really enjoyed it. But unfortunately at the end ... I couldn't hang in there with her."
Katarina Srebotnik and Ai Sugiyama won the doubles title, defeating Cara Black and Liezel Huber, 4-6, 6-2 and 10-5 in a tiebreaker.