Henin and Sharapova to reprise marathon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henin and Sharapova to reprise marathon

By Guy Hand 22/01/2008 05:50:02 AM Comments (0)

Australian Open organisers will be hoping for no repeat of Lleyton Hewitt's now-infamous pre-dawn finish, with another singles double-header scheduled for centre court tonight.

Open bosses have scheduled the quarter-final between Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova - who featured in one of the longest women's matches in history just two months ago - before a men's quarter-final in the evening session on Rod Laver Arena.

Women's top seed Henin and No.5 seed Sharapova played a near three-and-a-half hour match in Madrid just two months ago.

Their match tonight will not start before 7.45pm AEDT.

If they were to produce a similar length match to their showdown in Madrid, Russian Mikhail Youzhny and Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga can look forward to a lack of sleep should their quarter-final which follows be allowed to plough on into the early hours.

Hewitt bowed out of the tournament last night, losing 7-5 6-3 6-3 to third seed Novak Djokovic in their fourth round clash and leaving Australia devoid of any players left in the singles draw.

But Hewitt refused to lay blame for his defeat on the ridiculously late finish to his match against Baghdatis.

"No, absolutely not. He was too good tonight," Hewitt said of Djokovic.

"I felt ready when I had to go on the court.

"I started pretty well. As the match went on, maybe I lost that sharpness a little bit, I was ready to go (at) 7.30 tonight when we went out to play."

In other quarter-finals today, women's third seed Jelena Jankovic plays defending champion Serena Williams and men's second seed Rafael Nadal takes on Finnish 24th seed Jarkko Nieminen.

Jankovic, who beat Australian surprise packet Casey Dellacqua, faces her most difficult test against Williams - untroubled to date in the tournament.

The winner will face either Henin or Sharapova in the semi-finals.

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