BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
    You are in: Tennis: Australian Open: 2003  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Statistics
Australian Open
French Open
Wimbledon
US Open
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

   Sunday, 19 January, 2003, 05:16 GMT
Henin triumphs in thriller
Justine Henin-Hardenne crumples to the ground after being hit by cramp
Henin-Hardenne was hit by cramp in the third set
Fifth seed Justine Henin-Hardenne overcame both cramp and her ninth-seeded opponent, Lindsay Davenport, to clinch a place in the last eight at the Australian Open.

At 7-7 in the third set Henin-Hardenne's left thigh cramped up, but she was able to continue after an injury time-out and finally won the decider 9-7.

The match had see-sawed throughout, with first Henin-Hardenne and then Davenport looking certain to win.

After taking the first set 7-5, Henin-Hardenne looked on course for victory in the second set, but stumbled with the finish line in sight and lost it 7-5.

I thought I was going to die

Battling Belgian
Justine Henin-Hardenne

That set up the titanic third set, and after more than three hours of pulsating tennis, Henin-Hardenne claimed her first-ever victory against former Australian Open champion Davenport.

"I thought I was going to die but I played it with my heart and just went for it," said Henin-Hardenne, who was runner-up at Wimbledon in 2001.

"I was cramping and I thought the match was over for me.

"The match was really tough, I just wanted to end it. I wanted to give everything I could."

Both players were slow to find their best form, and after they each won their opening serves, there was a flurry of breaks throughout the rest of the first set.

Henin-Hardenne finally held her serve to go 5-4 up and although Davenport immediately responded in kind, Henin-Hardenne broke the American at 6-5 to take a one-set lead.

The Belgian started much the quicker in the second set and she was just one point from taking a 5-1 lead.

However, Davenport suddenly rediscovered her composure and won six of the next seven games to level the match at one-set all.

Now it was the American who had the momentum and when she took a 4-1 lead in the final set it looked as though she was in complete control.

However, Henin-Hardenne managed to fight back from a double break down and with the players locked together at 6-6 it was anyone's match.

When Henin-Hardenne crumpled to the floor while serving at 7-7 it looked as though Davenport was strong favourite to win.

But, after receiving treatment, Henin-Hardenne continued and she held her serve and nerve before breaking Davenport to claim a famous victory.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 Fifth seed Justine Henin-Hardenne
"I thought it was over when I started cramping"
 Number nine seed Lindsay Davenport
"There were so many twists and turns"
All the action from the Australian Open

Latest news

Our men in Melbourne

Melbourne draw

Player profiles

INTERNET LINK
Links to more 2003 stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more 2003 stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales