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Mauresmo wins Australian Open as Henin-Hardenne retires sick

French third seed won her first Grand Slam title today, snaring the Australian Open on Saturday.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 19:18 IST

French third seed Amelie Mauresmo won her first Grand Slam title on Saturday, snaring the Australian Open after her eighth seeded opponent Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium retired sick.

The win, which came when the scores were 6-1, 2-0 in Mauresmo's favour, makes up for her devastating loss in the 1999 final, when she lost to Martina Hingis.

She was totally dominating an out-of-sorts Henin-Hardenne before the French Open champion and four-time Grand Slam winner retired 52 minutes into what had been one of the most lopsided finals in the tournament's recent history.

Henin-Hardenne called for a trainer when the score was 2-0 in the second set, holding her hand to her head.

The 2004 Australian Open champion tried to continue but told the umpire she could not go on and slumped into a seat, a towel draped across her head to hide her tears.

"It's been a very long time, but I still don't know what to say," said the French power-hitter.

"My first words are for Justine, it's disappointing for everybody, I think, for the tournament to end this way, so I'm hoping she will get better and recover quickly.

"All the people who still believed in me after seven years it's a long time, but all the people who have been working with me still believed in me and really pushed me, even when I was down."

It was the second match in a row that Mauresmo has won on a retirement after injured second seed Kim Clijsters failed to finish their semi-final.

First Published: Jan 28, 2006 19:18 IST