World number one Justine Henin continues her domination on the WTA Tour winning the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships for the second time and in that way collecting her tenth title of season.
Superior Justine Henin defeated determined Maria Sharapova 5-7 7-5 6-3 in a dramatic final lasting 3 hours and 25 minutes.
Sharapova won the first set characterized by a marathon twelfth game (Henin’s service game). The Belgian saved seven break/set points and there were ten deuces, but she couldn’t resist Sharapova pressure longer than that, and the fighting Russian took the first set 7-5.
In the second set, the first one to be a break up was Henin at 5-4, but Sharapova rebroke right away in the following game for 5-all. Disappointingly, the Russian couldn’t hold her next service game, so Henin used that opportunity and won the second set 7-5.
Third set was close too. Firstly, Henin took a 3-1 lead, but Sharapova fought back for 3-all. Then, Henin broke the Russian again and soon after so herself just one game away from the flattering victory. But one game is still far away if you play against battling Sharapova on her serve. However, Henin earned herself a match point. Still, she needed five to finally defeat Maria Sharapova, a player who impressed me most at the Sony Ericsson Championships because she came out of her difficult shoulder injury and reminded us all of the fact that she’s a true champion and outstanding tennis player.
Justine Henin earned $1 million for the win, while runner-up Maria Sharapova collected $500,000.
Let’s just mention that the 25-year-old Henin recorded the biggest-ever single-season earnings for a professional female tennis player (Kim Clijster was the leader until today with $4,466,345). In 2007, Henin earned $5,367,086 and besides taking Clijsters’ place, she also became the first woman in professional tennis history to earn more than $5 million in a single season.