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Page last updated at 14:21 GMT, Monday, 31 May 2010 15:21 UK

Henin slumps to defeat by Stosur

French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Date: 23 May-6 June
Live video streamed from 1000 BST on BBC Sport website (UK only) and BBC red button; commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra; also live on Eurosport; text commentary on BBC Sport website Details of BBC coverage

Justine Henin
Henin had not lost a match at Roland Garros since 2004

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Roland Garros

Australia's Sam Stosur became the first player to beat Justine Henin at the French Open for six years as she stunned the four-time champion to reach the quarter-finals.

The seventh seed, who reached the semi-finals last year, battled back to win 2-6 6-1 6-4 on Court Suzanne Lenglen and set up a quarter-final against Serena Williams.

"Of course it's disappointing," said Henin afterwards. "It's never easy to lose, especially in this kind of situation. I just wanted so much to let the adventure keep going.

"I haven't been at my best today and Samantha was the best player on the court. She took her chances."

I'll just try to keep a lot of positive things and get focused on the future

Justine Henin

Stosur said: "It's obviously a great achievement for me, but it's not over yet. I'm just in the quarters and going to play the number one player in the world next.

"But it's definitely something I can take a lot of confidence out of, and to know going into that match against Serena I've just done that is, I think, going to help me."

The 26-year-old Australian has proved herself a formidable clay-court competitor over the last 12 months but defeating one of the French Open's all-time greats was still a major upset.

It also gave the Brisbane native revenge for a three-set defeat by Henin in the Stuttgart final earlier this month, their only previous meeting.

Henin had been involved in a tough three-set battle with Maria Sharapova in round three at Roland Garros but she made a fine start on Lenglen, breaking serve twice to win the opening set in 32 minutes.

But just quarter of an hour later, the Belgian was throwing her racquet angrily to the ground after slipping 4-1 down in the second set as the momentum shifted dramatically.

Stosur broke again to level the match, fended off a break point early in the third and moved 3-2 up when Henin double-faulted on break point.

Henin, playing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2007 after a 20-month spell in retirement, was looking down the barrel of a first defeat in Paris since 2004, but the seven-time Grand Slam champion is made of stern stuff.


As she had against Sharapova, Henin dug deep when the match was on the line and broke back straight away for 3-3 when she forced Stosur into an error.

The Belgian was under pressure in every service game, however, and her seventh double-fault of the match offered up another break point in game nine, which she handed over by finding the tramlines.

Stosur still had to serve out the win and the nerves got to her as she double-faulted on her first match point, but a superb kick serve on the second allowed her into her favoured territory at the net to thump away a smash.

A shell-shocked Henin managed a wave to the crowd as she departed the tournament six days earlier than she would have hoped, leaving Stosur to look ahead to a tantalising quarter-final with top seed Williams.

"It's difficult but it's part of the sport," Henin added. "When you come back at this level after two years off you know it's not going to be easy to deal with a lot of situations, and that means I still have to work harder and see it as a big challenge.

"I took this year as a year of transition, so of course it's hard, but in another way it seems a bit normal. I'll just try to keep a lot of positive things and get focused on the future now."

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