Thursday, January 21, 2010


A gripping match of the highest quality was played out between these two athletes on Rod Laver arena Wednesday. Services were frequently exchanged throughout the contest. Both competitors literally had to hit the lines to win a point, so fine were the margins, and so lofty were the standards of play.

However, it was Henin who decisively broke in the 11th game of the opening set to serve out a 7-5 winning margin.

Henin served for the match at 5-4 in the 2nd, Dementieva saving a match point before levelling at 5-5. Such was the fluctuating momentum between these two stars in the most intense match so far.

Henin broke again to serve for the match a second time following an exquisite backhand winner pushed up the line to set up break point, and a following Dementieva netted volley to give the Belgian the balls on her racquet.

But Henin failed to hold once more, duplicating the pattern of both players struggling on serve. And so to a tiebreak it went. Dementieva, at 6-5, had the opportunity to send the match into a deciding set, but Henin produced her most glorious tennis when it mattered, to save the set point. Henin then drew the Russian into the net the following point, forcing Dementieva to send her attempted drop-shot into the net. Justine then tucked away a volley for the triumph.

The little Belgian now becomes a serious title contender as she looks like she's never been away.


The final night match finished after 2am in the morning, featuring Marin Cilic and Australian youngster, Bernard Tomic. The first four sets were exchanged evenly, and it was at 4-4 deep in the fifth that the 17-year-old dropped his serve, allowing Cilic to finish it off for a 6-4 scoreline in the final set. However, the signs look good for Tomic and he can walk away from this one with his head held high. He put on a great performance but experience came through in the end.

Another marvellous match was fought out between the Argentinian beast Juan Martin Del Potro, and America's James Blake. Del Potro fought from two sets to one down, to eventually prevail 10-8 in the decider. He has now dropped three sets in two matches and against a better opponent in the later rounds, he may struggle more. But it was a great fight-back from the current US Open champion and he will take confidence from that.

Now, a mention for Britain's Elena Baltacha. When was the last time a British female reached the third round of a Grand Slam? I too have absolutely no idea. So her achievement in disposing of 30th seed Kateryna Bondarenko, is all the more laudable, and she now has a dream match-up with three-time Slam finalist, Dinara Safina.

Meanwhile, Roddick, Murray, Nadal, Clijsters and Kuznetsova have all smoothly progressed to round 3 where they are hoping to build some good momentum for the later stages of the competition.

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