Clijsters edges out Henin in Brisbane
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:59
The match was an epic, with the two great rivals battling it out for two hours and 23 minutes before Clijsters eventually claimed victory in a tense tie-breaker.
Both players showed they will be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming Australian Open, with the standard of tennis befitting a final.
It was Clijsters who took the initiative in the opening exchanges, taking the first set with ease and then racing to a 4-1 lead in the second set.
But Henin displayed the tenacity that once propelled her to the pinnacle of women’s tennis, reeling off five straight games to take the match to a decider.
The 28-year-old continued to force the issue at the start of the third, immediately breaking her opponent and twice holding serve to race out to a 3-0 lead.
Clijsters then broke back to put the match on level terms, only to find Henin up to the task with her own break of serve.
The topsy-turvy final set eventually went to a tie-breaker, where Clijsters seemed to be gaining the edge with a 4-0 lead, but in keeping with the nature of the contest, Henin surged again to level it at 6-6.
Clijsters finally broke the Henin resistance when she converted her fourth championship point, bringing to a close an exhilarating match.