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   Thursday, 23 January, 2003, 04:05 GMT
Venus shows her strength
Venus Williams reaches for a winner
Venus was too good for Henin-Hardenne

Venus Williams proved too strong for Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne as she reached her first Australian Open final.

The second seed triumphed 6-3 6-3 to set up a decider against sister Serena, who staged a magnificent comeback to beat fourth seed Kim Clijsters.

Williams, yet to drop a set in the tournament, continued her impressive form racing through the opening set in 37 minutes.

Venus played much more aggressively than me

Justine Henin-Hardenne

She was broken in the third game but she broke back straight away as Henin-Hardenne overhit a forehand to make it 2-2.

The Belgian was again under pressure in her next service game and was down 15-40 with Williams cracking a powerful forehand at the net for the winner and a 4-2 lead.

But Henin-Hardenne, held on break Venus for a second time when she stood her ground at the net to come out on top to trail 4-3.

However the fifth seed was having continuing problems holding on to her serve and found herself down two more break points in the eighth game after a double-fault and a forced forehand error.

I've never been in this position before, so I'm so happy

Venus Williams

She fought off one break point with a forehand winner but her lob was called wide for a third break of serve against her.

Williams earned two set points in her next service game and took it with a dubious backhand winner that appeared well out on television replays.

The American's domination continued in the second set as she raced into a 5-2 lead to serve for the match as Henin-Hardenne struggled at times.

The Belgian broke back to give herself a glimmer of hope but it was short-lived as she dropped her next service game to concede defeat.

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