Henin hot favourite after inspired 2007 - TennisForum.com
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 2008, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
♥ All-American Reject
 
CanIGetAWhat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Mount Olympus
Posts: 19,103
                     
Exclamation Henin hot favourite after inspired 2007

Henin hot favourite after inspired 2007
Martin Parry | Melbourne, Australia

09 January 2008 12:19

World number one Justine Henin goes into the Australian Open as the overwhelming favourite after an inspired 2007, but there is no shortage of challengers.

Among them is superstar defending champion Serena Williams, who stunned the tennis world by winning the title last year in her comeback event following an injury-plagued 2006 that had many writing her off for good.

Russian Maria Sharapova, last year's beaten finalist, will also be in the hunt, as will Serena's sister, Venus, a six-time Grand Slam winner still searching for her maiden Australian Open title.

But there are doubts over France's Amelie Mauresmo, the 2006 champion.

She slipped down the rankings to number 18 after a dismal injury-plagued season last year and was forced out of the Sydney International this week with a groin problem.

Russians Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anna Chakvetadze and high-flying Serbian pair Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic are also lurking dangers.

But Henin, who won here in 2004 and controversially walked off centre court midway through the 2006 final against Mauresmo with a stomach complaint, is the one to beat.

The Belgian finished 2007 with 10 titles, including the Grand Slam double of the US Open and French Open.

It was all the more remarkable as she was bouncing back from her marriage breakdown, which kept her out of last year's Australian Open, and the emotion of a family reunion after seven years' estrangement.

In the process she became the first woman to earn more than $5-million in prize money in one season; the first in 10 years, since Martina Hingis, to win 10 titles in a season; and the first in 18 years, since Steffi Graf, to remain unbeaten post-Wimbledon.

In an ominous warning, she said: "I still think my best tennis is yet to come.

"I will still try to improve. Tactically and technically I worked pretty hard in December -- I can always get better. I believe we don't have limits."

And after missing Australia last year and pulling out of 2006 final, Henin is keen to make up lost ground.

"I wasn't here last year for the reasons we all know and two years ago when I left Melbourne I was pretty sad," she said.

"I wasn't healthy at that time, my stomach was bothering me a lot, so it's quite emotional for me to be back in Australia."

Serena Williams should be a threat if she doesn't succumb to injury and stays focused.

Last season she was hampered by groin, calf, and thumb problems, and was forced out of the season-ending WTA Championships. But she fought back at the Hopman Cup in Perth and said she was feeling good.

"I am definitely feeling fully prepared. I feel like I am really match fit," she said.

Sister Venus is also brimming with confidence after a morale-boasting victory over Sharapova in the final of the invitational JB Group Classic in Hong Kong last week.

"It is very exciting, especially going into the Australian, playing so well against someone of her calibre," said Williams, who had not played a competitive game since October before the tournament.

The other previous winner in the field is tennis mum Lindsay Davenport, who lifted the title in 2000 and is a dangerous floater.

The American took a year off because of pregnancy but returned at Bali in September and won the tournament.

She followed that up with a semifinal berth in Beijing the following week, then won the Bell Challenge in Canada before heading to New Zealand this month where she lifted the Auckland Classic trophy.

The Chinese charge is led by the in-form Li Na, who won the Australian Women's Hardcourt Championships last week, and her compatriots, Zheng Jie and Peng Shuai. -- Sapa-AFP


CanIGetAWhat is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 2008, 02:07 PM
Senior Member
 
goldenlox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: cyberspace
Posts: 97,975
                     
Re: Henin hot favourite after inspired 2007

Federer, stomach bug and all, is the dead-on favourite to win it at 8/13.
On the women's side Justine Henin is almost travelling into Federer territory with absurd, though justified, 6-to-4 odds in her return to Melbourne Park after missing last year's tournament due to her then-ongoing divorce.
Defending champion Serena Williams is only 6-to-1 despite her amazing unseeded run in 2007.
Last year's fallen finalist Maria Sharapova is riding her brilliant 2007 finale to 7-to-1 odds.
Wimbledon champion Venus Williams is looking to return to the finals in Melbourne for the first time since her lone finals appearance in 2003, and is a 10-to-1 bet.
Serbian starlet and French Open finalist Ana Ivanovic is at 14-to-1, while her less heralded compatriot Jelena Jankovic is a 20-to-1 bet.
Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo, making her first Grand Slam appearance since losing her Wimbledon crown, is 16-to-1 to reclaim the title she won in 2006 when she took her first-ever Grand Slam triumph in a career-year.
Finally, American comeback queen Lindsay Davenport is a 20-to-1 bet to cap her astonishing return from childbirth with a second Melbourne victory.
(Odds are from oddschecker.com)

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter....
Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there
Enjoy This Moment!!
HEALTH and HAPPINESS to EVERYONE

goldenlox is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TennisForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome