World No.1 and top seed Serena Williams won her twelfth Grand Slam and her fifth Australian Open one by ending Justine Henin’s hopes of a comeback title with a 6-4 3-6 6-2 victory in the final.
Serena used to win the Australian Open only on odd-numbered years, but today she ended the tradition and also became the first woman in the Open Era to win it five times.
In addition, Williams leveled Billie Jean King’s record in the number of major titles. The two are now ranked sixths in the list; Margaret Court, Steffi Graf, Helen Wills Moody, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert are ranked better.
Henin was playing only her second tournament after her 18-month retirement and reached the final in both of them. Still, she didn’t manage to match the achievement of fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters who won the 2009 US Open, her first Grand Slam appearance after returning to competition.
“It has been a very emotional two weeks for me. I thought it would never happen again,” said the 27-year-old Henin. Later, the seven-time Grand Slam champion assured the audience that she is here to stay: “I’ll see you next year.”
The former world No.1 Henin,who entered the Australian Open as an unranked wildcard, will remain without a world ranking for one more tournament, but her performance so far convinced us all that the heights of women’s tennis are reserved for her.
As for Serena Williams, what can we say, there is no greater champion in women’s tennis right now. Not only did she win in singles at the 2010 Australian Open, but she won the doubles competition a day earlier (for the fourth time in Melbourne!), and not to mention that she won both singles and doubles last year as well. Serena’s taping on right thigh and left knee couldn’t stop her hunger to win and I am certain the American will add more Grand Slam trophies to her already impressive collection.