Pair Of Aces Puts Henin Through
©Reuters / E.Keogh
Wednesday, 27 June, 2007
Justine Henin nearly spoiled a good afternoon’s workout by allowing opponent Vera Dushevina back into a match she had dominated, but two successive aces saw her clinch a place in round three.
The top seed and strong favourite for this year’s title looked to be on course for a quick turnaround as she took the opening set without losing a game, dominating the 20-year-old Russian, right from the moment play was called.
Like Dushevina, spectators were shell-shocked at the speed of the world number one, her court coverage and blinding sweeps of shots, especially those cross court off her delightful backhand.
Nerves and no doubt the Centre Court setting and occasion played a part in what proved a poor performance from the Russian, who was making her fourth appearance at Wimbledon but playing in the second round for only the first time.
The crowd, sensing her discomfiture, attempted to lift her spirits by acclaiming her winning shots. But it was all to no avail as Henin stormed through the first set in 20 minutes.
Henin is not usually the type to relax her grip when in a winning position and she jumped quickly into a 3-1 lead in the second set. But then Dushevina found her range and a bit more confidence, to suddenly provide the Belgian with a contest.
To the surprise of those watching, she levelled at 3-3, converting the second break point to come her way in the sixth game, to the approval of the fans supporting the underdog.
She continued to push the top seed and even earned another break point but Henin kept control and struck those two aces to claim the match 6-0, 6-4.
With nothing to lose, Dushevina challenged the call on the final point, but her fate was confirmed by Hawk-Eye.
The contest was one-sided, as expected, but it did provide the top seed with a good hour's workout on Centre Court