View Full Version : Marquee Match: Top-Seeded Henin-Hardenne To Meet Davenport

Jan 26th, 2004, 08:23 AM
Marquee Match: Top-Seeded Henin-Hardenne To Meet Davenport
Photo By Susan Mullane By Tennis Week

Standing six-foot-two, Lindsay Davenport finds herself looking up to five-foot-five Justine Henin-Hardenne as the pair prepare to face off in an Australian Open quarterfinal clash that may well be the marquee match on the women’s side. The fifth-seeded Davenport sees the top-seeded Henin-Hardenne above her on the draw sheet, but can look back on a history of dominating their duels in the past.

Playing powerfully controlled tennis, Davenport dismissed 11th-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva, 6-1, 6-3, in a fourth-round rout that lasted 47 minutes Monday. Henin-Hardenne had a bit of a tougher test, but prevailed with a 6-1, 7-6(5) triumph over 129th-ranked Italian Mara Santangelo in her fourth-round match.

The quarterfinal clash between the current and former No. 1 players has the potential to provide some of the highest-quality tennis in the women’s tournament. At their best, both women hit the ball so cleanly you’d almost think their strings are stenciled with soap.

The 2000 Australian Open champion has reached the Melbourne final four in four of her last five trips Down Under. The only woman to halt Davenport’s annual semifinal surge in that stretch was Henin-Hardenne, who also snapped Davenport’s five-match winning streak against her in the process when she prevailed in last year’s fourth-round showdown. Henin-Hardenne survived a painful case of cramps, a 1-4 final-set deficit and Davenport's history of dominance against her in scoring a 7-5, 5-7, 9-7 victory en route to the semifinals.

It was a crucial victory for Henin-Hardenne, who would recall the resolve she showed in her comeback against Davenport in subsequent Slam rallies against Serena Williams at Roland Garros and Jennifer Capriati at the U.S. Open.

Recovery from off-season foot surgery prevented Davenport from practicing until December. With the exception of a second-round misstep against French lefthander Emilie Loit, Davenport has been downright dominant in dropping just 22 games in her four victories. Reigning Roland Garros and U.S. Open champion Henin-Hardenne has surrendered only 19 games and has not lost a set in her run to the fourth round.

In their first five meetings the Belgian's baseline blasts were unable to deter the fast, flat drives detonating from Davenport's racquet as Davenport's power put Henin-Hardenne on the run. Mobility is Henin-Hardenne’s biggest advantage over Davenport and she used it to run down the shots and extend rallies in her comeback win last year.

The serve could be the key to their quarterfinal meeting. When Davenport’s serve is on the rest of her game flows and the shots find their mark like all the right answers on a multiple-choice exam. An improved serve has been a key to Henin-Hardenne’s 11-match win streak in majors. She connected on only 45 percent of her first serves against Santangelo and if Henin-Hardenne serves below 50 percent against Davenport it’s very possible the former No. 1 will run the world’s current No. 1 right out of the tournament.

Jan 26th, 2004, 08:33 AM
i dont know if its just me, but has justine been running a little less fast this tourney?i saw her against mara santangelo and she couldnt retrieve many balls.

Jan 26th, 2004, 11:36 AM
Good luck Davenport!!!! :D

Jan 26th, 2004, 12:16 PM
i dont know if its just me, but has justine been running a little less fast this tourney?i saw her against mara santangelo and she couldnt retrieve many balls.

Yep, she looked slower than last year to me as well...and against Davenport that may be fatal.

Jan 26th, 2004, 01:14 PM
great article cant wait to see the match

Jan 26th, 2004, 04:20 PM
good luck Lindsay i know youll do it!!!

Jan 26th, 2004, 04:25 PM
GO Lindsay!!!!

Jan 26th, 2004, 04:27 PM
Do you guys know what time ESPN is planning to show this match?

Jan 26th, 2004, 04:47 PM
im not sure but im sure it will be tonight!!!!!!!

Jan 26th, 2004, 04:48 PM
this will probably be the match of the tournament! I can't wait! Go Lindsay. :)

Jan 26th, 2004, 04:50 PM
Good luck Justine :)

Jan 26th, 2004, 05:16 PM
I hope ESPN will show this live!!!!

Jan 26th, 2004, 05:20 PM
I think ESPN will show this tomorrow because there aren't any QF matches being shown tonight. They will be shown tomorrow, I think. I really hope tonight because I have work tomorrow afternoon. And plus the Mauresmo match is coming on first.

Jan 26th, 2004, 05:21 PM
Best of luck to Justine and I hope that this will turn out to be an exciting match!