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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 01:43 GMT
Henin v Poutchkova as it happened
Australian Open, Melbourne

Women's second-round result


6-1 7-5


To get involved, text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Chris Bevan

0145: Not quite how it was in the script but Justine Henin is into round three. Olga Poutchkova gave her a bit of a run for her money in the second set though. Thanks for your banter in the small hours - Ms Caroline Cheese will join you again later this morning for that mouthwatering match between Maria Sharapova and Lindsay Davenport. Enjoy yourselves, I will be asleep.

Henin 6-1 7-5 Poutchkova
Quel surprise - another break of serve and we are done and dusted out on the Rod Laver Arena. JuJu was JuJust too good but she had to work rather harder than expected against the world number 97.

Henin 6-1 6-5 Poutchkova
After completely fudging it when she served for the match, JuJu is in immaculate form here, sending down a couple of boomers to help her hold to love. How often does that happen?

Henin 6-1 5-5 Poutchkova
The plucky Poutch is still battling too. She saves two more match points and Henin seems rattled - sending a forehand long which means we are all-square in this second set.

"No doubt the crowd will be hoping for a turnaround...that isn't going to happen."
Steve on text 81111

Are you still so sure about that Steve?

Henin 6-1 5-4 Poutchkova
We are not done yet though. A seventh JuJu double-fault, a sloppy forehand and another Poutch backhand into the corner gives her three break points, and she delights the crowd with a forehand winner to break back again.

"It is such a surprise that Henin could not serve out for the match - she is normally so ruthless."
BBC Sport's Jonathan Overend in Melbourne

Henin 6-1 5-3 Poutchkova
JuJu may not be firing on all cylinders but she is still trying to be inventive - throwing in drop shots here and there to keep Poutch guessing. The Russian saves one match point with a thunderous serve and she is still hanging on out there.

"This match isn't backing up the previous prediction that Henin would win the title. Murray was my choice for the men's."
Sexy Beej on text 81111

Henin 6-1 5-2 Poutchkova
Yey! JuJu holds at last - I was beginning to think that would never happen. Poutch pays the price for a couple of wayward shots when she was on top in the rallies and she is on the brink of defeat now.

Henin 6-1 4-2 Poutchkova
Another game, another break of serve. This match is getting predictable.

"I'd like to see Henin falling to another Bartoliesque defeat at some point... Maybe Poutchkova will see her favourite actor in the crowd?"
Ed, London on text 81111

Marian Bartoli sprang a shock when she beat JuJu in the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2007 - then said she was inspired by seeing Pierce Brosnan, her favourite actor, in the crowd.

I can report that Poutch's favourite actor is Ben Stiller - but I don't think he is at the Rod Laver Arena, sadly.

Henin 6-1 3-2 Poutchkova
All is not well with JuJu either though - her serve has wilted as well. Poutchkova's sends a thumping backhand down the line to break, and that is the fourth game in a row that has happened in this match. Does anyone want to win?

Henin 6-1 3-1 Poutchkova
One step forward, two back for Poutch. Two double-faults are not what she needs and a woeful volley into the net means she is broken to love. Oh dear, JuJu probably can't believe her luck.

Some news from elsewhere at Melbourne Park Andy Murray's conqueror, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is in action again, and the man they call 'Ali' is a set to the good against Canadian Sam Warburg.

Henin 6-1 2-1 Poutchkova
An uncharacteristic swipe sends one JuJu forehand into Row Z of the Rod Laver Arena and her backhand is wild too. Another chance for Poutch and, although Henin saves three more break points, a double fault means the Russian finally has her first break of the match. Well done.

"You're not alone. I'm giving you a virtual hug!"
Cameron on text 81111

Henin 6-1 2-0 Poutchkova
Poutch's failure to take her chances in the last game seem to have gone to her head. A dismal collection of wild serves and poor groundstroke hand JuJu the first break of the second set and this match seems to be heading in only one direction.

"GoGo JuJu."
Anon on text 81111

ThanksThanks for that.

"Keep it up with the banter to keep me awake through the lonely night."
Anon on text 81111

My thoughts exactly. Otherwise staring at these blue courts for hours on end might just drive me stir crazy.

Henin 6-1 1-0 Poutchkova
JuJu is having to work a bit harder for her corn at the start of the second set - that Poutch backhand is quite some shot when she opens up. Five break-points come and go though and Henin somehow holds serve - a real shame as those chances don't come around too often either.

Henin 6-1 Poutchkova
Another break and that's the first set. Henin knows this one is there for the taking and is moving in for the kill at the net whenever possible - which includes on the Poutch serve.

"Henin is leading comfortably and looks in perfect shape. This match reminds me of Roger Federer's match yesterday when his opponent did quite well but still got thrashed."
BBC Sport's Jonathan Overend in Melbourne

Henin 5-1 Poutchkova
Poutch threatens for once at 15-30 on the Henin serve, thanks to a wonderful backhand of her own. Three thumping JuJu serves put that right and she is still firmly on course - just one more game needed for the first set.

Henin 4-1 Poutchkova
Some masterful net work by JuJu and Poutch is in trouble again. A double-fault doesn't do her any favours and a raking backhand down the line gives JuJu another break.

"Henin looks hot! "
Anon on text 81111

Yes, I believe the temperature is quite high in Melbourne.

Henin 3-1 Poutchkova
JuJu's serve is a joy to watch, unless you are Poutch of course. She just cannot live with it at the moment.

Henin 2-1 Poutchkova
Better from the Poutch - her serve is working now, which always helps. She certainly doesn't lack power and she holds to get off the mark. I was beginning to worry for her...

Henin 2-0 Poutchkova
No such problems for JuJu, who is quickly into her stride. The Belgian is wearing a nice scarlet and white combo - which I am only commenting on because it doesn't blend in with the migraine-inducing blue courts. Poutchkova is wearing navy, though, so she's not helping.

Henin 1-0 Poutchkova
The worst possible start by Poutchkova - when you're playing the world number one at the Rod Laver Arena you don't want to be broken in the very first game. Some sloppy shots mean she has done just that though.

0017: We are up and running. Poutchkova to serve first.

By the way, don't be shy - I need some company through these lonely nights. Send me your tennis chat by texting 81111 with the word TENNIS before your comment.

0012: First up on those bright blue courts at Melbourne Park is women's top seed Justine Henin, who has begun 2008 as the number one in the world. She takes on Olga Poutchkova, who lies a little lower down the list at number 97, in the second round.

The players are out on court and knocking up.

0000: Good morning folks. If sleep is not your thing, then I have got some cracking tennis in store for you over the next few hours.

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