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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 June, 2005, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Henin wraps up French Open title
Justin Henin-Hardenne celebrates her French Open win
There are no words to describe this moment
French Open winner Justine Henin-Hardenne
Justine Henin-Hardenne strolled to her second French Open crown, ruthlessly defeating Mary Pierce 6-1 6-1.

The Belgian 10th seed crushed the hopes of French fans as she battered home favourite Pierce with a flurry of forehands and driving backhands.

In overcast conditions, Henin broke Pierce three times on her way to taking the first set in just 24 minutes.

Pierce crumbled under the relentless pressure and handed Henin victory on her comeback from a viral condition.

Henin has struggled with fatigue and back injuries on her way to the final but was at her brilliant best on Philippe Chatrier Court.

The 23-year-old did not look back after Pierce held her first service-game, sweeping to nine games in a row.

Henin was solid, keeping up her defences while peppering Pierce with rasping groundstrokes and even some deft play at the net.

The Belgian's composure took the sting out of the match and silenced the French crowd, who were never really given a chance to get behind Pierce.

The 30-year-old Frenchwoman looked a shadow of the player who had breezed her way to her first final in five years with a fierce smile and aggressive determination on court.

All that confidence evaporated in the face of an unstoppable Henin.

Pierce surrendered her serve to hand the Belgian a 2-0 lead in the second as she needlessly screwed an easy smash into the net.

The 2000 French Open champion tried to unsettle Henin, running into the net and sending up looping high balls - but it was too late for attacking tactics.

I desperately wanted to play well but I didn't
Mary Pierce

A double-fault gifted Henin a 5-1 lead and then Pierce shoved the ball into the net to see the Belgium round off the victory in 61 minutes.

Nerves were clearly a factor for Pierce who committed 29 unforced errors.

Henin's Paris triumph saw her stretch her unbeaten run to 24 straight matches. A fact made all the more remarkable as Henin only returned to the tour in March after seven months out with a draining viral condition.

She will now rest before turning her attention to Wimbledon, where she was a finalist in 2001.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Highlights: Henin-Hardenne v Pierce


Interview: French Open winner Justine Henin-Hardenne


News conference: Mary Pierce




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