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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 January, 2004, 04:04 GMT
Henin-Hardenne into final
Justine Henin-Hardenne
Justine Henin-Hardenne beat Fabiola Zuluaga in straight sets to reach her first Australian Open final.

The world number one lived up to her billing as a heavy favourite for the match, winning 6-2 6-2.

Zuluaga, seeded 32, gave the Belgian a brief scare by fighting back early in each set but never really threatened.

Henin-Hardenne will face fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters in Saturday's final, after her compatriot beat Patty Schnyder.

I really enjoyed playing against Justine in that big stadium
Fabiola Zuluaga

The match pitches the top two players in the world against each other.

"I'm not going to be the favourite because I'm number one," Henin-Hardenne insisted.

"I mean, we played unbelievable matches in our career. And Kim is a great player.

"We'll see what's going to happen - it's very hard to tell. It's a Grand Slam final. That's going to be another great moment in my career."

The 21-year-old has yet to drop a set in the tournament but insisted she had been given a good test by Zuluaga.

"She's a great player and I had to play good tennis if I wanted to go to the final," said Henin-Hardenne.

"I started well but I had to play better in the second set."

Zuluaga remained upbeat despite the defeat.

"The first three games I was like really nervous but then I was just having fun," said Zuluaga.

"I really enjoyed playing against Justine in that big stadium. I really had fun out there. Feels good. I didn't win, but I had fun."



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