Justine Henin, Ana Ivanovic advance in Dubai

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At the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, top seed and defending champion Justine Henin had to work really hard to overcome Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik 7-5 6-7(6) 6-3, while Ana Ivanovic confidently defeated Nicole Vaidisova 6-4 6-0.

Belgian world No.1 Justine Henin, who won the tournament in Dubai four times in five years, was pushed hard in her opening match on Wednesday. World No.28 Srebotnik lost the first set after a tough battle, and one could have easily expected that being disappointed she would lose the second set much easier. But that was not the case. Srebotnik continued to fight and took the match to the third set. The decider was also very close, and nuances decided the winner. After three hours, Henin advanced to the quarterfinals where she’ll meet Francesca Schiavone.

Third seed Ana Ivanovic wasn’t sure whether she would play at Dubai due to the ankle injury she sustained in Doha last week, but luckily she recovered and was able to play her opening match in the Dubai event. The Serb defeated world No.14 Nicole Vaidisova in straight sets, in just one minute over an hour. Ivanovic will play eighth seed Elena Dementieva in the qaurters.

I can also mention that both Jelena Jankovic and Amelie Mauresmo advanced on Wednesday with hard-fought three-setters. Fourth-seeded Jankovic defeated India’s Sania Mirza 4-6 6-3 6-4, while Mauresmo beat Japan’s Akiko Morigami 4-6 6-1 6-4. This year in Dubai, Mauresmo went through two very hard matches. The former world No.1 has been considering retirement, and as long as she keeps winning there are lesser chances she will leave tennis.

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