Henin-Hardenne takes French Open title - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henin-Hardenne takes French Open title

By Martyn Herman 05/06/2005 05:50:08 AM Comments (0)

A super-charged Justine Henin-Hardenne crushed Mary Pierce 6-1 6-1 to win the French Open crown for the second time.

Playing near-perfect tennis, the Belgian dynamo overwhelmed her dazed opponent, smacking winners to all corners of the Centre Court as the Frenchwoman's game imploded.

"There is no words to describe this magic moment. It's a great victory for myself. The public was fantastic, even though they were obviously for Mary," said Henin-Hardenne.

"Mary is somebody I like very much and respect a lot. It was very difficult for her."

Victory for the former world No.1 extended her winning sequence to 24 and means she is the undisputed queen of clay this year, having won every match she has played on the surface.

What had been an eagerly-awaited clash between the two French speakers turned out to be the most one-sided final since Steffi Graf beat Belarussian Natasha Zvereva in 1988.

"It's difficult to talk. I have mixed emotions. I wanted to play a better match. I'm sorry it didn't last very long," a tearful Pierce, who had beaten world number one Lindsay Davenport en route to the final, told the crowd.

"Winning here five years ago was a dream but this is more than a dream, reaching the final after all I've been through is just unbelievable.

"When I was little, I never could imagine that I would play three finals here."

French 21st seed Pierce, looking for an unlikely second title at the age of 30, began confidently enough, holding her opening service game with the aid of one crunching backhand.

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