Henin turns up the heat in third round
Anna Chakvetadze went crashing as Justine Henin-Hardenne turned on the heat with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over her in the third round of women's singles Wimbledon.india Updated: Jun 30, 2006 21:48 IST
French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne sailed into the fourth round at Wimbledon on Friday then suggested doing a grand slam double within a month ranked as one of the toughest challenges in tennis.
Wimbledon is the only jewel missing in Henin-Hardenne's grand slam crown and in a wide open field, this could be her year.
She has dropped just nine games so far in her almost effortless progress through the draw and on Friday she crisply despatched Russian teenager Anna Chakvetadze 6-2 6-3.
In the first set, a ball girl fainted in the baking midday sun. Chakvetadze wilted too, losing her serve twice.
Henin-Hardenne dropped her serve once in the second set but rarely looked challenged and ended the contest with a sharp backhand volley.
Wimbledon conjures mixed emotions for the Belgian number three seed. In 2001, the grass tournament was her first grand slam final. Last year she got knocked out in the first round.
The difference this year is that she played and won the Eastbourne warm-up tournament on grass -- and it shows.
"It's tough to come from clay to grass in just a week and I was very happy I could play in Eastbourne," she said.
"Physically and mentally, two grand slams in a month, it's difficult," she said. "It's tough to live this kind of pressure again two weeks later."
But she still has a mountain to climb as all the top seeds at Wimbledon have had an easy passage through the early rounds.
"It means that all the top players have a lot of motivation and keep their energy in the first week," she said.
Henin-Hardenne, winner of five grand slams in Australia, France and the U.S., adores the tradition surrounding Wimbledon, telling reporters "I love to come here... It's been my first grand slam final ever so that means a lot of things for me here."
When asked about the missing jewel, Henin-Hardenne trots out the all familiar tennis cliches about how important it is to take the tournament one match at a time.
But there is no doubting the hunger in her voice when she says "I almost won everything. Just Wimbledon I never won. So it's a big challenge for me."