Justine Henin battles past Elena Dementieva to reach round three of Australian Open

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Justine Henin’s comeback is in full speed. The Belgian, a wildcard at the 2010 Australian Open, knocked out fifth seed Elena Dementieva 7-5 7-6(6) in the second round.

Currently unranked Henin saved two set points in the first set, broke Dementieva’s serve at 5-5, and then held serve to take the set 7-5. The Russian responded by taking a 2-0 lead in the following set, but Henin leveled. Dementieva was having a lead again later, 4-2, but Henin then won three consecutive games and served for the match. Still, Dementieva leveled at 5-5, and a tiebreaker was played since none of them managed to hold serve. Henin won the tiebreak 8-6 and the match was over in a little less than three hours.

The 27-year-old Henin will play another Russian in her next match, seed No.27 Alisa Kleybanova.

Henin already possesses seven Grand Slam titles, including the 2004 Australian Open, while Dementieva has to wait to get another chance to win her first one.


  1. It must have been a fantastic match, Justine is back to business!!! I only found a clip of half of the tiebreaker and all I can say : they should all be scared! Justine put Elena under an immense pressure and although she tried to resist her nerves got the better of her and Justine just went for a kill.
    The queen is the gueen, what can I say.

    Also, MARIA, WHAT A PHOTO! Loved the choice, it pretty much summarises how Elena felt after the defeat and how all the others in the top ten may feel right now… hehehe.

    I hope to find the whole match,somebody help me!

  2. WHAT A MATCH! I watched it on TV…and yeah, I couldn’t be relaxed because the whole match was tough. Hopefully Henin will win the tournament :).

  3. I found the tiebreaker on youtube, and it was so nerve-wracking for me to watch since I support both players. They were playing amazingly-could have been a final. Glad Justine made it through as I want her to have as much or more success than Kim on her return. I saw Elena’s mom’s face before the start of the tiebreaker and felt so nervous and bad for her. I mean, a 2nd round match-crazy and amazing lol. I want to see this match in its entirety as well as the Sharapova-Kirilenko match.

  4. I am so happy that Justine is back…and she is playing amazing tennis! I wish she wins all the 4 slams this year..

    Marija, Nice photograph selection…;-)

    Marine, you can watch the match online and live at espn360.com.


  5. I really thought Elena would win this match, but it’s ALL mental with her. She had so many chances, especially with the crazy break points all over the place and she allowed Justine into many of the points Justine shouldn’t have won but did. It’s crazy. If Elena can’t clear this mental hurdle she’ll have a slamless career, shamefully. It’s looking like a Justine/Serena final, and I know we ALL are looking forward to that one.

    Don’t worry Marine, someone will have the entire match up soon…here’s a link to the tiebreak:

  6. Ella,I think Elena played really well. It was a bit about the nerves but in my view the main cause of her loss is a common problem in WTA which is a lack of variety in their game. Henin has this as her greatest strenght and she has been able to capitalise on it no matter what player she was up against. The bar is really high this season. No more tennis models, but the real tennis players!!! Alleez! 🙂

  7. The Justine-Elena match is worthy to be equated to a final match in any grand slam tournaments. Both played unbelievable tennis. For sure the crowd at the Rod Laver Arena was delighted to see the match the live. As for Justine, her performance will definitely send a loud signal that she is fighter and she can win the tournament. Her forehand is amazing and her backhand is divine. During tight situations in that match, she simply go for broke and hit the lines aggressively. Mentally, she’s solid compared to other players. It’s always a pattern in her game that when she’s down, she cannot get out of the situation and win match. As the fans say: Allez Justine!

    As for Elena, kudos to her for putting a big fight. She really tried her best to stay aggressive as possible but in very important occasion she simply crumbles. Her choice of shots in those situations were very poor and she didn’t put too much aggressiveness on her game.

    But overall, the match was a joy to watch!

  8. This match was far from being great and there was NO DOUBT in my mind that Justine was going to come on top, after all she was playing Dementieva. Justine was not serving well and she was huffing and puffing at the end of the second set; if this match would have gone to a third set Justine would have been in trouble. She is lacking physical conditioning and I think Justine is beatable. I was watching this match with a relative of mine, in the middle of the first set I told my relative that all Justine needed to do was to play close and Dementieva was going to choke and Dementieva did. She had the chance to close out the first set and she choke, she was leading in the tie breaker in the second set and she choke. This is the perfect example why Dementieva has never won a Grand Slam and why she is going into my “Choker Hall of Fame”.

    Ms. Marine there a few tennis models left, Dani H. the Serbs Ivanovic and JJ; to a lesser extent Wozniacki and a few others.

    Oh, almost forgot, Ms. Marija your Ivanovic looks like a burned hot dog with excess mustard. 😛

  9. Yes, it was a great match but it really was a poor showing for Henin’s service game. She really struggled with her first serve, I believe there was a whole game that she did not get in a single first serve. Dementieva on the other side, didn’t really put her game together like she has in the past. Can Henin go the distance? Who knows.

  10. Congrats to Justine on her gutsy performance.I watched from start to finish (lucky I am in OZ).
    The intensity, as Leo said previously was really up there and I agree with Carlos as to who was the fitter of the two.
    In the end, Elena, after being in one too many tournaments (I think) in this lead up. Hopman- Sydney-then to Melbourne. It’s not the physical thing, but a player can only input so much emotion into a tournament before it all starts getting a bit blase. That’s what I saw in Dementieva last night. She is too casual to me and although I know she wanted it bad, she has to let other players know she means business. Be more like Serena !
    No its not golf (maybe Elena should take it up to compare “Fate” with “I WILL”.
    It’s not Fate when its poor shot selection or feeding balls to Justine’s (yes)”Divine” cross court back-hand.
    Justine needs to be starved of shots to be beaten and Elena just kept on feeding her chocolate (Belgian of course !)
    Elena is NOT a choker contrary to all you cynics,
    she just one the Sydney International and came across Justine desperate to get her career back on track.
    Regardless of where she is at Justine has a massive heart.I luv both of you.XXX

  11. I think Justine after such a long hiatus from the game puts all her rivals and especially top players in shame. She is the only one whose game is about variety in the first place and power at second. Elena was trying hard, but Justine outsmarted her. In the tiebreaker there is one spectacular point and you can see Elena mouthing something like WOW. I think that says it all. World’s No.5…. But to be fair to Elena, over the years she has got much better and despite all the slams upsets she is still out there fighting. I think this kind of mentality won her the Olympics in 2008 when she was loosing and was able to turn around the match. I think that was one of the occasion when she was able to really “mean business” and it worked. And for the record, the opponent was Serena.


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