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  Monday, 9 July, 2001, 03:32 GMT 04:32 UK
Williams retains Wimbledon crown
Williams stretches for the ball in the Wimbledon final
Venus Williams took her Grand Slam tally to three
Venus Williams beat Justine Henin 6-1 3-6 6-0

Venus Williams has retained her Wimbledon title with a three-set win over Justine Henin.

The American second seed claimed the deciding set with a whitewash after the Belgian teenager had fought her way back into the match.

Williams powered to a quick 6-1 first-set win, but the gritty 19-year-old claimed the second set 6-3 before the champion surged ahead in the third.

Afterwards, a delighted Williams said her second Wimbledon championship had proved harder to win than the first.


She's a great player and she's going to be back
Williams on Henin

"This year was a lot more difficult to win," said Williams, "I thought a lot more."

It is the American's third Grand Slam title after her successes at Wimbledon and the US Open last year.

Williams took the first set in convincing style, despite starting the match with two double faults.

Henin, the first Belgian in a Wimbledon final, held her first service game with style, but fell 0-40 down in her second as Venus turned up the heat.

The Belgian bravely fought back to deuce, but Williams eventually made the breakthrough at the fifth time of asking.

When the champion broke for a second time and served out to take the set 6-1, things were looking ominous for the underdog.

But Henin settled and led 3-2 when the Wimbledon rains returned to force the players off court.

Justine Henin
Henin was unable to produce on the day

However the delay was a short one and the players were soon back on court, with Henin picking up where she left off.

Williams, however, seemed a little nervous, and Henin took advantage to break her opponent for a 5-3 lead.

Henin then feistily held her own serve to pinch the second set.

The Belgian had produced a magnificent display when she came back from a set down to end Jennifer Capriati's Grand Slam hopes in the semi-final.

But she was unable to reproduce that sort of form as Williams took control of the match.

Henin was unable to win a single game as Williams ran out a 6-0 winner in the third set.

But Williams paid tribute to her opponent in defeat.

"She is a very good player and only 19," said Williams.

"She's a great player and she's going to be back."

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 ON THIS STORY
Double Wimbledon champ Venus Williams
"It was a lot harder this year"
Justine Henin
"She is a great champion, she played better so she won"
Wimbledon site

Men's singles final

Ladies' singles final

Henman's defeat

Other finals

Scores and seeds

SOL at Wimbledon

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