Saturday we will watch a match of two superb players, seeds No. 1 and No. 2. Justine Henin – top-ranked player in the world and the defending champion at the Eastbourne International grasscourt tournament; Amelie Mauresmo — ranked fourth in the world and the 2006 Wimbledon champion.
Justine Henin of Belgium had a 59-minute-long semifinal match against No. 8 seed Marion Bartoli, seeing off her opponent 6-1 6-3 to reach the final.
If the Belgian wins the 2007 Eastbourne International she will be the first woman since Chanda Rubin in 2002 and 2003 to lift this trophy in successive years.
Amelie Mauresmo of France advanced when Nadia Petrova pulled out with injury after losing the first set 4-6. Petrova hurt her pectoral muscle during Thursday’s quarterfinal against Sybille Bammer. She said she felt pain when she served and did not want to risk further damage before Wimbledon.
Mauresmo is looking forward to Saturday’s final against Henin.
“It is a great opportunity to have another great match, to compare myself with the best player on the tour, see where I am right now and try and get another title under my belt,” she said. “I am expecting a tough one.”
Who has better chances of taking the title? I would say Henin – she is definitely the best player this year having titles from Dubai, Doha, Warsaw, and Roland Garros. Mauresmo, although the reigning Wimbledon champion, had a two-month break this year due to acute appendicitis, and that might still have some effect.
Furthermore, Henin leads 7-6 in their meetings so far AND it was Henin who was victorious in their only match in 2007, defeating the Frenchwoman 6-4 7-5 in the final of Dubai. Reminder: The 25-year-old Belgian has won every grand slam title except Wimbledon, losing to Mauresmo in last year’s final.
All in all, one thing is certain: We will hear a lot of “Allez!” at the Saturday’s final.