Henin into last four
Originally published on: 26/02/10 13:02
The 27-year-old Belgian is less than four weeks into her return from a 20-month retirement but has hardly missed a beat at Melbourne Park to show the type of form that won her six grand slam titles.
Henin, who was handed a wildcard entry to the season-opening grand slam, held her nerve at the key moments against the 19th-seeded Petrova who squandered her chances with 41 unforced errors.
Henin will next meet the winner of the match between Maria Kirilenko and Zheng Jie in the last-four.
Both players are unseeded and while Henin, who won at Melbourne Park in 2004, has had to overcome the likes of fifth seed Elena Dementieva to reach the semi-finals she is expecting a tough contest regardless of who she plays.
“It will be a tough match both of them have been playing well,” she said. It will be semi-final in a grand slam so it will be tough. I hope I can make another final in Melbourne.”
Petrova had come into the match full of confidence after dumping reigning US Open champion Kim Clijsters and number three seed Svetlana Kuznetsova out in the previous two rounds.
And she twice broke back in the opening set to force a tie-break where she showed her first signs of nerves. Some loose groundstrokes from the Russian allowed Henin to reel off six consecutive points before the she won the tie-break with a characteristic backhand cross-court winner.
Petrova again let nerves get the better of her in the next set when, after breaking twice to go 3-0 ahead, she immediately handed back the advantage.
Henin then stepped up her game further and, after an arrowed forehand across court set up match point, she wrapped up the match when Petrova hit long.