2003 French Open champ Justine Henin-Hardenne, who saved two match points before edging Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6, 4-6, 7-5.
It was a remarkable recovery by Henin, who could barely run after nearly three hours on court and looked like she would be drop-kicked back to Paris by the more muscular Russian.
But Kuznetsova shook and strained when she held the match points at 5-3, missing an ugly backhand down the line and pushing a weak backhand slice into the net. She committed a slew of unforced errors in the next three games to lose the match, as Henin merely had to bunt the ball back in the court.
Even though she was exhausted, Henin sensed the match wasn't over.
"I was seeing her very nervous," Henin said. "She was afraid to win the match; that was very clear. And when you can see that in the eyes of your opponent, that is very good for myself. Even if I didn't play a great match, it's very good because I stayed really positive and I never stopped fighting. So this kind of win makes me very, very happy."
Kuznetsova employed the right strategy to win the contest, attempting to wear her smaller foe down in end to end rallies. But even though she won the US Open last year, she doesn't have the mental toughness yet of the three-time Grand Slam champion.
"She didn't win it, I lost it," Kuznetsova said. "The moment I had to so something, I didn't do anything."
"It's gonna be another tough match," Henin said. "Kuznetsova is playing very, very heavy. The ball is coming very, very strong. Sharapova is probably playing faster, but not as heavy. But I will try to forget what happened in Berlin. I played very good match. But here it's the French Open and it's different kind of pressure. But I believe I can win."
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
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