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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
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

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