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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 June 2006, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Henin retains French Open title
Justine Henin-Hardenne
Henin-Hardenne has now won five Grand Slam titles in her career
Justine Henin-Hardenne successfully defended her French Open title with victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova at Roland Garros on Saturday.

The Belgian won 6-4 6-4 to take her third French title in four years, and her fifth Grand Slam crown in total.

Henin-Hardenne broke Kuznetsova in the opening game on her way to taking the first set, and came back from a break down in the second.

She converted her second match point to win in one hour and 36 minutes.

The 24-year-old becomes the eighth woman to win the Roland Garros title at least three times and first to win back-to-back titles since Steffi Graf in 1996.

When I made the break at 3-3 in the second set that was the turning point

Justine Henin-Hardenne

"I'm delighted to get my third win here, it has been a fantastic tournament and it is a fantastic feeling to win again," said fifth seed Henin-Hardenne.

"It's a really special feeling playing here, it's unique and I love playing here."

In searing heat on the Phillipe Chatrier Court, Henin-Hardenne broke Kuznetsova in the first game and was soon 4-1 ahead.

Eighth seed Kuznetsova got one of the breaks back and, despite seeing the first set slip away, improved enough to go 2-0 ahead in the second set.


But Henin-Hardenne quickly levelled and when she saved a break point on her serve in the sixth game it proved the last moment of doubt for the Belgian.

"I suffered physically today," said Henin-Hardenne. "I was very tired and didn't sleep well. I played better on the big points.

"When I made the break at 3-3 in the second set that was the turning point."

Kuznetsova admitted: "It's disappointing for sure, but it's still a final at Roland Garros.

"I'm disappointed I didn't take my chances, but Justine played a great match."

French Open women's final photos
10 Jun 06 |  Photo Galleries
Gamewatch: Henin v Kuznetsova
10 Jun 06 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 May 06 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
26 May 06 |  Tennis
French Open schedule
27 May 06 |  Tennis
French Open on the BBC
27 Apr 06 |  Tennis

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