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Marcell
Mar 31st, 2007, 11:53 PM
Serena takes down Henin for Sony title

Associated Press




A forgiving net cord saved Serena Williams from defeat, and she made the most of the lucky bounce.

One point from losing the final in the Sony Ericsson Open, Williams hit a return that grazed the tape atop the net and skipped across to keep her chances alive. She won the ensuing rally, and more than an hour later she won her fourth Key Biscayne title.


Williams survived a dismal start and erased two championship points in the second set Saturday to beat top-ranked Justine Henin 0-6, 7-5, 6-3.

"When I get down, a part of me just plays better," Williams said. "I think all champions have that."

The comeback was nothing new for Williams, who revived her career by winning the Australian Open in January for her eighth Grand Slam title. Once ranked No. 1, she fell to 140th last July because of long layoffs but will climb back to 11th next week.

Williams closed out the victory with a service winner, accepted gracious congratulations from Henin and waved her index finger for the cheering crowd, intent on returning to the top.

The match was 39 minutes old before Williams won a game, and she was twice one point from defeat with Henin serving at 5-4 in the second set.

"I said, 'I don't want to lose this fast. At least let it last an hour,"' Williams said.

Perhaps she learned how to deal with such stressful situations from her older sister. Serena was a spectator when Venus Williams fended off eight championship points to beat Jennifer Capriati in the 2001 Key Biscayne final.

With Henin serving at 40-15, Williams saved the first championship point by smacking an overhead winner after skipping her return off the net. She reached deuce by hitting a strong forehand to force an errant backhand by the Belgian.

Two points later, Henin slipped and took an awkward tumble, skinning her left knee, and she lost the next six points. She fell again trailing 3-0 in the final set and remained seated on the sunbaked concrete for nearly a minute, as if debating whether to concede.

The feisty Henin rose and rallied for 3-all, before Williams began one final surge.

"She's a fighter," Henin said. "It's tough to close the matches against her, because she goes for it. She's a champion, and that makes a difference from the other players, for sure."


Justine Henin had two match points on her serve in the second set but couldn't finish off Serena Williams. (Alan Diaz / Associated Press)

Playing in only her seventh tournament in the past 18 months - and her first since Melbourne Williams improved to 15-1 this year and 41-5 at Key Biscayne.

Two first-time Key Biscayne finalists will meet for the men's title Sunday: 29-year-old qualifier Guillermo Canas and 19-year-old Novak Djokovic.

Williams vs. Henin was their first meeting in nearly four years. There were hard feelings in both camps after Henin beat Williams in the 2003 French Open semifinals, but they engaged in a warm conversation following the revival of the rivalry.

"The relationship is very good now," Henin said. "We have a lot of respect for each other. We both agree that we are very good players. So what happened in the past is far away from now."

Henin, a five-time Grand Slam champion playing in her first Key Biscayne final, used her vast array of shots to control the early rallies. Williams was off balance and struggled in vain to control the groundstrokes she used to overpower top-seeded Maria Sharapova and others in previous matches.

"I figured I could do a little better," she said.

Williams finally won a game by breaking for 1-all in the second set, then needed 16 points in the next game to hold for the first time.

"I was making a lot of errors," Williams said. "Justine was moving up to the ball and blasting winners. I had to lift the level of my game and stop making errors."

The crowd - including Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade - was in Williams' corner and roaring as she began to rally.

"I remember I missed a shot, and the whole crowd was like, 'Awwww,"' she said. "It was really like they were all leaning on that one ball, and everyone was so involved. At that point, I just was having a good time. I was just like, 'Wow, this is fun.' I continued to fight."

Her groundstrokes became steadier, and she started moving forward more aggressively. Also contributing to the turnaround was some tentative play by Henin, who hit two double-faults serving for the title at 5-4 in the second set, and another when she lost serve to fall behind 5-3 in the final set.

Williams trailed love-40 serving in the final game before she swept the last five points. She converted her first championship point, curling in a 77-mph kick serve that handcuffed Henin.

The serve skipped off the sideline and Williams hesitated, unsure whether the shot was good. She then dropped her racket and grinned sheepishly at her narrow escape and latest title, the 28th of her career.

.Andrew.
Mar 31st, 2007, 11:55 PM
:)

Cool, Dwayne Wade was there? I didn't see him, maybe because I'm blind I guess :lol:

Marcell
Mar 31st, 2007, 11:59 PM
http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/nm/20070401/2007_03_31t174140_379x450_us_tennis_women_miami.jp g

frontier
Mar 31st, 2007, 11:59 PM
the only left who needs a beatdown is momo.:lol: :lol: :lol:

Kunal
Apr 1st, 2007, 12:02 AM
only happens if she plays

BuTtErFrEnA
Apr 1st, 2007, 12:04 AM
:)

Cool, Dwayne Wade was there? I didn't see him, maybe because I'm blind I guess :lol:

yea he was there....I think she realised she would have been put to shame if she lost in under an hour....thankfully she didn't

Wannabeknowitall
Apr 1st, 2007, 12:19 AM
http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/nm/20070401/2007_03_31t174140_379x450_us_tennis_women_miami.jp g

I think Star Jones brought a two seat package and then Ms. Al must have been busy with something (sucking dick) because he was not seen all week so she did a little calling around and TO and Dwayne were the ones who wanted to come along.

I'm not trying to start any rumours or nuttin but I think Mr. Wade fancies Serena.

It's not something he can help, why would he want a trophy wife when he can have a chance at a beautiful strong supple women like Serena. :tape:

Cam'ron Giles
Apr 1st, 2007, 12:25 AM
I think Star Jones brought a two seat package and then Ms. Al must have been busy with something (sucking dick) because he was not seen all week so she did a little calling around and TO and Dwayne were the ones who wanted to come along.

I'm not trying to start any rumours or nuttin but I think Mr. Wade fancies Serena.

It's not something he can help, why would he want a trophy wife when he can have a chance at a beautiful strong supple women like Serena. :tape:

How do you know what Al was doing? :tape:

dreamgoddess099
Apr 1st, 2007, 01:33 AM
I think Star Jones brought a two seat package and then Ms. Al must have been busy with something (sucking dick) because he was not seen all week

How do you know what Al was doing? :tape:

Who's dick do you think Al was sucking.

Wtrain
Apr 1st, 2007, 01:40 AM
I kinda believe her when she says the relationship is good.

frontier
Apr 1st, 2007, 02:44 AM
i can see justine being friendly with serena,with momo its gonna be difficult because momo can be really bitchy when she loses.

Jakeev
Apr 1st, 2007, 02:51 AM
The fact that these human beings can let bygones be bygones is testament to what great champions both players are.

Both have dealth with tremendous issues since they met last in 2003. Now that those two have put there issues I hope their fans on here can do the same and finally move on.

DOUBLEFIST
Apr 1st, 2007, 02:56 AM
I have no doubt the relationship is quite cordial.






















I promise you, Serena hasn't forgotten RG '03.

ZeroSOFInfinity
Apr 1st, 2007, 02:57 AM
The ghost of 2003 has been buried by both players. Can the posters here do the same, I wonder?

Bijoux0021
Apr 1st, 2007, 03:11 AM
The fact that these human beings can let bygones be bygones is testament to what great champions both players are.

Both have dealth with tremendous issues since they met last in 2003. Now that those two have put there issues I hope their fans on here can do the same and finally move on.
:haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:

Serena and her fans will NEVER forget RG 2003. Nice try!

Justine and her fans wish that people would forget and move on. Justine brought that shame onto herself. She must live with it forever....Again, it's part of tennis history; it's always going to be there.

Bijoux0021
Apr 1st, 2007, 03:18 AM
The ghost of 2003 has been buried by both players. Can the posters here do the same, I wonder?
Who said it's been buried? Justine and her fans would love to think that, don't you? Think again! :fiery:

ZeroSOFInfinity
Apr 1st, 2007, 03:29 AM
^^^
Guess some people still wants to live in 2003. Oh well, it's their decision... consumed by their own hatred against the player. :shrug:

eck
Apr 1st, 2007, 03:31 AM
Not all Serena and Venus fans are bad. Some are :worship:, but others are :weirdo:

Junex
Apr 1st, 2007, 04:09 AM
:haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:

Serena and her fans will NEVER forget RG 2003. Nice try!

Justine and her fans wish that people would forget and move on. Justine brought that shame onto herself. She must live with it forever....Again, it's part of tennis history; it's always going to be there.

Of course, it won't be forgotten...
that is the reaon you live.....

serenafann
Apr 1st, 2007, 04:33 AM
The hand shake and talk at the net was nice to see.

Bijoux0021
Apr 1st, 2007, 04:41 AM
Of course, it won't be forgotten...
that is the reaon you live.....
And don't you ever forget it!

By the way, CBS showed the highlights of Justine's cheating Hand incident today. Obviously, they too have not forgotten.

ico4498
Apr 1st, 2007, 04:59 AM
good to know their relations are cordial.

won't ever change my distaste. Justine is a great player, wonder if she still believes the lying & cheating method is viable?

Vaidisova
Apr 1st, 2007, 05:33 AM
http://i7.tinypic.com/47ug4s7.jpg