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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008, 00:08 GMT
Henin v Schiavone as it happened
Australian Open, Melbourne

Women's third-round result

J HENIN (Bel) v F SCHIAVONE (Ita)

7-5 6-4

LATEST ACTION (all times GMT)

To get involved, text us your views & comments on 81111, with the word "TENNIS" before your comment. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Piers Newbery

Second set:

Henin 6-4 Schiavone
Top seed Henin opens with a woeful double fault and a forehand shank that goes several feet long, just about summing up her day. Another error hands Schiavone two break points but Henin finds a decent serve and then wins a lengthy rally by scrambling over a cross-court slice.

Pretty desperate stuff but she earns a first match point and takes it with a smash. A victory but plenty of work still to do for the former champion.

Henin 5-4 Schiavone
Henin has a sight of victory at 15-30 up but she cannot step up her game today and Schiavone keeps plugging away, reeling off three points to make the Belgian serve out.

Henin 5-3 Schiavone
Just when she needs it, Henin comes up with a love game.

Henin 4-3 Schiavone
Henin just cannot put this one away. She wastes a break point and Schiavone makes her pay by sweeping a forehand winner down the line at deuce and then taking the game with a service winner.

Henin 4-2 Schiavone
A tetchy Henin smashes a ball away in frustration after an error lets Schiavone back to deuce. That's nothing compared to the look on her face when, moments later, she guides a volley well long to drop serve.

0136: "Well, censoring it (see 0103 entry) makes it look a lot worse than it actually was! and the 'x' was a kiss for you piers, not part of my name...x (kiss) ;)"
From webber, oxford, via text (More BBC sensationalism, apologies. And thanks for the kiss. I think.)

0133: "Schiavone is not too bad, unfortunately we are not there to cheer her up. I still think Henin will excel. Guys is London based, wish her well."
From Tony Odusote, London, via text

0130: "Henin is romping away with it. She's showing the type of attacking prowess that king kevin will bring to st james park. Bring this one home."
From jon, birmingham, via text

Henin 4-1 Schiavone
Yep, the Henin forehand is finally finding its range - two winners get her to 15-30 up and a successful challenge of a line call earns her two break points. The world number one sweeps away a backhand and that should be that.

Henin 3-1 Schiavone
A welcome love-service game see Henin ease clear of Schiavone and it looks as though the Italian's challenge is finally fading.

Henin 2-1 Schiavone
At last, some daylight for Henin when Schiavone double faults twice in a row from 0-30. She screams something probably quite rude in Italian.

Henin 1-1 Schiavone
Phew! Another serious workout for Henin before she takes the game to 30 with a rasping forehand winner. It's not often you hear so many cries of "Allez!" from the Belgian in a third-round match but she's being pushed all the way here.

0120: "Schiavone's asking some good questions and it's probably the test that Henin wants as we get to the middle part of a Grand Slam tournament."
BBC Sport's Chris Bailey on 5Live

Henin 0-1 Schiavone
A beautiful forehand winner down the line signals the fact that Schiavone is not about to give up and she holds to 15. Maybe it's because she's a Londoner...


First set:

Henin 7-5 Schiavone
Another battling game from both players and Henin again has to lunge for a volley to set up her first set point at 40-30. The world number one takes it with another volley on the stretch.

Henin 6-5 Schiavone
Schiavone dominates with her forehand, sending Henin scurrying around behind the baseline to get to 40-30, but Henin finds a couple of big returns and at break point she wallops a forehand to break again.

0103: "Goodness vaidisova's not bad is she? it's the early hours..... [CENSORED, ED]"
From x webber, oxford, via text (Agreed, she's a fine player)

Henin 5-5 Schiavone
Mamma Mia! As Schiavone surely muttered to herself when Henin dumped a high backhand volley into the net at 15-30. Two break points for the Italian and she takes the initiative, moving to the net and forcing an error from Henin, who is struggling at the moment.

0055: "i'm rooting for henin. You've surely jinxed it for schiavone now!"
From anon via text

Henin 5-4 Schiavone
Schiavone has clearly picked up the British sporting style from her time in London - she's plucky and probably going to lose. The Italian does well to hold serve and force Henin to serve out - not a foregone conclusion the way the Belgian is playing.

0049: "I was gonna support the Italian, but my predictive text likes Henin better so I'll support her... This seems a good way to choose."
From Gaz, Oxford, via text

Henin 5-3 Schiavone
At 0-30, Henin comes up with the first ace of the day and goes on to hold. Meanwhile, Ai Sugiyama drops the opening set against Nicole Vaidisova. I interviewed Sugiyama at Eastbourne a couple of years ago and a nicer person you could not wish to meet. I interviewed Vaidisova last year too. She's nice in a different way.

Henin 4-3 Schiavone
Schiavone hangs on by holding to 30 and is showing the grit and determination of a true cockney (see 0007 entry).

Henin 4-2 Schiavone
The second point of the game is a belter, with both players having their moments before Henin takes control with a lunging volley and finishes it off for 30-0. The Belgian is having to work for everything and we get the first fist pump of the day when she wins another lengthy exchange on her way to consolidating the break of serve.

Henin 3-2 Schiavone
Henin ups the intensity of her returns considerably and breaks again when Schiavone sends one flying into the stands off the frame.

Henin 2-2 Schiavone
Henin's serving has not been up to scratch so far in Melbourne and she's quickly 15-40 down. Schiavone wastes the first break point with a poor return but dominates the following rally to force an error and we're all square again. Didn't see that coming.

And thank you James (see below), that's exactly the sort of incisive analysis we're after.

0030: "Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Interrupting cow." "Interrupting co..." "Moo!"
From James, Southampton, via text

Henin 2-1 Schiavone
At 30-30, Henin gets a bit of luck with a net-cord on an attempted forehand pass and she breaks on the next point. Worrying signs for Schiavone as the Belgian hasn't really got going yet.

Henin 1-1 Schiavone
Schiavone - sporting a white and pink number with a white headband, fashion fans - opens up with a forehand winner but Henin responds with a cross-court backhand winner. The Belgian comes through to 30. And she's wearing her usual adidas stuff.

Henin 0-1 Schiavone
A couple of dodgy Henin forehands and a wayward backhand help Schiavone to 40-15 and the Italian then darts to the net, punches a volley deep and then thumps away the attempted lob. Good stuff.

0013: Schiavone loses the toss and Henin elects to receive. Blimey, it looks hot.

0007: Morning all, and what better way to usher in another January day than by watching everyone's favourite diminutive Belgian thump beautiful backhands in the Melbourne sunshine.

To say that world number one Henin is the favourite for this one would be an understatement as she has a 6-0 career record against the 27-year-old Schiavone.

And the Italian is smaller than Henin, so she can't even bank on a power advantage.

Still, she lives in London so we will brazenly claim Schiavone as one of our own for the night and hope for her sake that she doesn't follow the example of her 'fellow' Brits.

SEE ALSO
Australian Open order of play
12 Jan 08 |  Tennis
Australian Open draw
11 Jan 08 |  Tennis


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