Henin outclasses Williams at French Open - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henin outclasses Williams at French Open

06/06/2007 05:50:54 AM Comments (0)

The imperious tennis of Belgian top seed Justine Henin has outclassed Serena Williams at Roland Garros.

Henin's 6-4 6-3 quarter-final victory means she has now won 31 consecutive sets at the claycourt slam.

More importantly she is two wins away from equalling the hat-trick of titles achieved by Monica Seles in 1992.

Roger Federer's record 36-set winning streak in grand slam play was snapped, however, by Spain's Tommy Robredo before the Swiss rolled through to the men's semi-finals 7-5 1-6 6-1 6-2.

He will meet Russia's Nikolay Davydenko who overcame Argentine baseliner Guillermo Canas 7-5 6-4 6-4.

Williams, the 2002 champion but loser to Henin in an acrimonious 2003 semi-final, was beaten more comfortably than the scoreline suggested and was scathing of her own performance.

"All she had to do today was show up," Williams told reporters later.

"I've never played so hideous and horrendous."

Joining Henin in Thursday's semi-finals is Maria Sharapova, who reached the last four for the first time by brushing aside fellow 20-year-old Russian Anna Chavetadze 6-3 6-4.

Jelena Jankovic and Anna Ivanovic also won, underlining Serbia's emergence as a tennis power. It is the first time two women from the country have reached the semi-finals of a grand slam.

In-form fourth seed Jankovic beat 18-year-old Czech Nicole Vaidisova 6-3 7-5 while Ivanovic, also born in Belgrade, beat 2006 runner-up Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-0 3-6 6-1.

"Wherever you go you just see Serbians all over the place, winning all these matches it's incredible," said the 22-year-old Jankovic, who will now face Henin in her first semi-final at Roland Garros. Novak Djokovic has the chance to join them on Wednesday in the men's event.

Williams started badly against Henin, losing her opening serve and she was always uncomfortable against a player whose game is tailor-made for clay.

In 2003 Williams was booed off Centre Court and although the crowd were fair this time they cheered loudly when the Belgian saved a break point in the first set and heckled Williams when she slammed her racket down in anger after dropping serve at the start of the second.

Williams briefly threatened when she broke back but Henin was in no mood to let the lacklustre American off the hook.

"From the first point to the last I was focused, I was mentally and emotionally under control today," Henin said.

The 19-year-old Ivanovic could not stop smiling after reaching her first grand-slam semi-final.

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