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View Full Version : Serena to meet old foe Henin


SerenaSlams
Jun 3rd, 2007, 03:01 PM
Eurosport - Sun, 03 Jun 15:25:00 2007

Serena Williams will face defending champion Justin Henin in the quarter-finals after both won their fourth-round matches on Sunday. Williams beat Russian Dinara Safina 6-2 6-3, while Henin defeated Sybille Bammer in straight sets to maintain her bid for a third-consecutive title.

"That was definitely better today," said Williams of her match. "It came together in practice the other day and I knew if I could play the way I practised, I would be able to do a good job."

Safina struggled to hit cleanly in the opening set and immediately went a break down as both players conceded unforced errors. The early advantage was finished off at the net by the American, although she needed two bites at a smash and only took the final point when Safina could not clear the net.

The Russian could not find consistent length on her shots and frequently hit shots out of the back of the court as world number eight Williams settled more quickly. Her juddering stroke-play saw her go two down then three following another break.

Safina improved at the end of the set and did not concede another service game, but the winners that Williams seemed to find whenever a rally had to be decided continued to elude her.

Indeed it was in the seventh game that Safina finally defeated her opponent. The statistics told the story: of the rallies consisting of more than four shots, Williams had won nearly 80 percent. The unforced errors column did not favour the world number 11 either.

The second set was more positive for Safina. She quickly upped her winners total as both players broke in the opening two games.

A pair of games held was followed by several where the receiving player triumphed. The taller and heavier Safina exuded more confidence on the service of Williams, yet both failed to find the consistency of first serve that they had in the opening set.

In the final games, however, Williams emerged stronger, and a vital hold for 5-3 was followed by a final break to end the match 6-2 6-3.

"Usually I don't like to peak too soon," she continued. "I like to bring up the level of my play right around the quarters, semis; mainly in the finals."

Williams - who has not competed in Paris since the 2004 tournament - and Henin shared a bad-tempered semi-final at Roland Garros in 2003, but the American claimed that she did not hold a grudge.

"I'm very excited about the match-up. It was what it was; we're both different people now."

Henin's relentless progress towards a third straight French Open title continued when the Belgian beat Austria's Bammer 6-2 6-4.

The 25-year-old top seed has now won 29 consecutive sets at Roland Garros stretching back to 2005 and will face old foe Serena Williams in the quarter-finals.

It was plain sailing for Henin until she was twice broken in the second set as Bammer pegged her back to 4-4.

The world number one quickly regained her poise, however, and finished off her opponent after one hour 24 minutes.

Meanwhile, Czech teenager Nicole Vaidisova crushed Italy's Tathiana Garbin 6-3 6-1 to book her place in the last eight.

The youngest player left in the draw at 18, sixth-seeded Vaidisova proved far too strong for Garbin, the oldest at 29, needing just 66 minutes to brush her opponent aside.

World number 10 Vaidisova, who burst into the limelight by reaching the semi-finals here last year, was in complete control from the opening game up until when Garbin netted a forehand on the first match point.

Vaidisova goes on to meet Serbia's Jelena Jankovic or Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli for a place in the semi-finals.


Simply Stunning, Simply Serena
:worship: 57 Consecutive Weeks as World #1 :worship:
:worship: Olympic Gold Medalist ('00 Doubles w/ Venus) :worship:

serenaforever
Jun 3rd, 2007, 04:24 PM
It will be an awesome match...