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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2007, 01:59 GMT 02:59 UK
Henin hits form to see off Serena
Justine Henin
Henin finished runner-up to Maria Sharapova last year
Top seed Justine Henin gave a magnificent display to beat Serena Williams in their highly-anticipated US Open clash and reach the semi-finals.

The world number one came through 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 to set up a clash with Venus Williams or Jelena Jankovic.

Henin was out of the blocks quickly but lost a 5-3 lead and saved a set point before winning the opening tie-break.

And after breaking early in the second set, the Belgian grew in confidence as she powered into the last four.

"From the tie-break to the end I played unbelievable tennis, aggressive and great like the number one player in the world, trying to dictate the points," said Henin.

"I was happy to beat her on this court and in this atmosphere. That means a lot to me."

I've got to go back and study and figure out how to beat her

Serena Williams

The match had the feeling of a final as only Serena's frequent bouts of inactivity have kept her ranked as lowly as her current position of number nine in the world.

Henin and Serena had met at the same stage of the previous two Grand Slam tournaments, at Wimbledon and the French Open, with Henin winning both times.

The Belgian had lost all three of her encounters with Serena on hard courts and appeared determined to improve that record from the opening moments as she broke in game one.

606: DEBATE

That looked like being enough until Serena, backed by a vociferous home supprt, rattled off three straight games to lead 6-5.

A set point arrived for the American but Henin found a big second serve to get herself out of trouble, and the top seed then dominated the ensuing tie-break with some heavy forehands to seal the opening set.

Serena had no answer to the pace and variety coming from Henin's ususally weaker forehand side and the Belgian broke twice in the second set to wrap up the victory.

"I think she played better," said Serena afterwards. "I think she made a lot of lucky shots and I made a lot of errors. I don't think my level dropped.

"I guess in a way my level did drop. I definitely made a lot of errors. She started playing a lot more aggressive and played a lot of hard balls."

Asked what went wrong, the American said: "I can't explain that right now. I just don't know.

"I was really excited to go into it. I was ready to play. I've got to go back and study and figure out how to beat her. That's it. Bottom line."

SEE ALSO
Henin v Serena as it happened
05 Sep 07 |  Tennis


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