Justine Henin capped her amazing comeback by storming into the Australian Open final on Thursday where she will meet Serena Williams who is gunning for a fifth title.
Fifth seed Andy Murray also booked his place in the decider, becoming the first British player since John Lloyd in 1977 to get this far in Melbourne when he ditched weary 14th seed Croatian Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
Tenacious Henin kept her historic run going with a 6-1, 6-0 demolition of unseeded Chinese Jie Zheng.
Williams also had to negotiate Chinese opposition and was made to work hard by Na Li before grinding her down 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/1) under a hot sun on the Rod Laver Arena to set up an enticing final on Saturday.
Scotland's Murray is attempting to become the first Briton to win a Grand Slam since Fred Perry in 1936 and he jumped all over weary Cilic after losing the opening set — his first dropped set of the tournament.
“Marin showed incredible guts, he had played three five-setters here. He made it so tough for me and he was so clearly tired after his hard week,” said the 22-year-old.
Henin destroyed Zheng as she stayed on track to add to her seven Grand Slam titles, including the 2004 Australian Open. “The dream continues. I am going to play the number one and defending champion,” said Henin, becoming the first wildcard to reach the final here.
Asked if she expected to get this far, she revealed she was quietly confident.
coach worried about nadal’s injury
Madrid: Rafael Nadal's coach expects to find out Thursday the extent of injury that forced him out of the Australian Open.
“There's always a concern, that's normal. It's logical to be concerned unless you're a fool,” said Toni Nadal, also his uncle. “We don't know the extent of the injury,” the Spanish media quoted him as saying.
Nadal had limped out of his quarterfinal on Tuesday with Andy Murray early in the third set, with a recurrence of a knee injury that blighted his 2009 season. Nadal will undergo an MRI scan in Barcelona to determine the full extent of the injury.