The Women’s Singles Final at 7:30pm Melbourne time on Rod Laver Arena between two of the great champions in women’s tennis. Serena Williams (11) and Justine Henin (7) have won 18 Grand Slam singles titles between them.
The final promises to be a great clash when the 2 mentally toughest players over the past 10 years on the women’s tour square off or the 14th time in their head to head battles.
Serena has the height 1.75 metres to 1.67 metres, considerable weight advantage and a bigger and better serve. There is no point in providing the official stats on their current playing weights are as who in there right mind would ever believe what the female player’s report them to be?!?! Well ok, for a laugh, Serena is 68 kgs and Henin is 57 kgs.
The 27 year old Belgian’s comeback in just her 2nd tournament has her in her 2nd final already. Can Henin win one point more than last time? In the Brisbane final she had 2 match points before falling to fellow comeback queen and Belgian Kim Clijsters.
Clijsters won the 2009 US Open as a wild card. Henin retired 20 months ago back on 14 May 2008 and was awarded a wild card into this event. It would be great for women’s tennis if a 2nd dream comeback story came true as opposed to Serena just adding another Slam to her tally.
In the semi finals Henin was far more impressive and dominating than Serena. The 2004 Australian Open champion won in a quick fire 51 minute 6-1, 6-0 semi final victory over China’s Zheng Jie.
After that match Henin said, “I knew it could be a dangerous match. Grand Slam semifinals are always special. I knew I had to be very focused, very concentrated. I did my job perfectly,” the former World No.1 said. “Sometimes you have big surprises, like at Wimbledon in 2007. I knew there was an opportunity for me. It’s more than a dream. I’m so happy to play against Serena because if I want to win another Grand Slam, I’ll have to beat the best in the world. And that’s the biggest challenge I can get.”
The 28 year old American struggled through against China’s Li Na in her semi final and managed to fight out a win in 2 tie break sets 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-1). Serena leads the head to head encounters by 7 wins to Henin’s 6. Especially interesting is the fact that the player who has won the 1st set in 12 of those 13 matches went on to win the match. So tune in from the 1st point of the 1st set, as it seems to be absolutely vital when they battle each other.
The mental battle is always a decisive factor in tennis matches and with Serena playing so much tennis at the Australian Open (she won the women’s doubles final with her sister), together with her growing “Egyptian mummy” look with all that white bandaging, coming back from being down a set could prove to be too physically and mentally demanding.
For Henin who has the edge over Serena in a s far as being fresh, physically ready and having won all 3 Grand Slam matches between the 2 over the past 6 years. Henin also has spent 117 weeks at No.1 versus Serena’s 88 and counting. Henin has the edge in career titles with 41 versus 35. Henin leads Serena with 4 win s to 2 in Grand Slam singles events yet, they have never net in a Grand Slam final despite Serena playing in 14 Grand Slam finals and Justine playing in 11.
The 2010 Australian Open Women’s Singles Final is also their first meeting ever at this tournament. Besides Serena being H-U-N-G-R-Y and seemingly more determined than ever, the problem I foresee for Henin in terms of this mental battle will be her overwhelming feeling of relief to have done so well to make a Grand Slam final so soon in her comeback to tennis.
Despite the potential and the build up and as much as we hope otherwise it will be another Serena victory and in straight sets…
For more coverage and information about the 2010 Australian Open on this tennis website click this link -> Australian Open 2010: Jan 13-31.
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