Top seed Justine Henin beat Italy’s Karin Knapp 6-3 6-3 to win the Proximus Diamond Games in her home Belgium. The Antwerp title is Henin’s second of the 2008 season, the first one was Sydney, and it’s her 41st career title.
It was the first meeting between Henin and Knapp. World No.1 Henin continued her not-so-perfect play, but still she was more than Knapp could handle. I must point out, however, that the young Italian didn’t disappoint at all. She was a good opponent, and Henin didn’t defeat her easily.
Despite the loss, the 20-year-old Knapp made a great achievement. The world No.47 hadn’t won a match in three tournaments this year before her surprising run to the Antwerp final. It was her first career final and she reached it with victories over Nathalie Dechy, Yaroslava Shvedova, fourth seed Patty Schnyder, and ninth seed Na Li.
Winning the Proximus Diamond Games, Justine Henin earned $95,500. For the overly luxurious trophy she’ll have to win two more times.
Additional info: Because of the WTA’s changes to the calendar, from 2009 onwards the Proximus Diamond Games will be a tournament by invitation only. Henin opted to play in Antwerp at the farewell edition despite picking up a $10 000 fine for withdrawing from next week’s event in Doha. In addition, she will forfeit $125 000 of her share in the season year-end bonus pool for missing the newly-required event.