Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Nightmare for Serena as Henin Dreams of a Treble; the French Open

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Nightmare for Serena as Henin Dreams of a Treble; the French Open

Article excerpt

SERENA Williams admitted she played hideous and horrendous tennis as she crashed out of the French Open 6-3, 6-4 to Justine Henin here today.

The American delivered her own damning verdict after the quarter-final thrashing at the hands of the top seed, who is bidding for a third successive title at Roland Garros.

Nothing worked today and all Justine had to do was show up, said the No8 seed.

My punishment is to have to go home to the horrible Florida weather to prepare for Wimbledon its going to be 200 degrees!

The crowd was definitely for Justine today and there was no explanation for my bad shots. I just pretty much stood back and let her take advantage of me and I feel violated.

Everything went wrong, starting with my practice and I even left my notebook in the locker room when I went on court.

I was playing like a maniac and I dont think I have every played so badly in a quarter-final of a Grand Slam. I have never played such hideous and horrendous tennis.Fears that the quarter-final would be arepeat of the chaos of their 2003 semifinal meeting, when the crowd viscously turned on the American, were groundless as Williams never gave her detractors anything to barrack.

There was one period of whistling when the umpire overruled in Williamss favour and boos when she threw her racket, but within 78 minutes the match was over with the Belgian star easily moving into the last four.

Henin has an added incentive to make it a triple triumph at Roland Garros as another title would allow her to become the first woman for 15 years to achieve three consecutive French Open wins, matching Monica Seless achievement from 1990-92.

Furthermore, she will remain as No1 in the world if she can better Maria Sharapovas result at this Grand Slam.

The world No2 also had a comfortable victory today as she proved too strong for Anna Chakvetadze, triumphing 6-3, 6-4 with the Suzanne Lenglen court crowd on their best behaviour following the booing that greeted the Russians controversial fourth-round win.

For Henin and Sharapova to meet in the final they must now overcome Serbian opposition with the Belgian due to play Jelena Jankovic while Sharapova faces Ana Ivanovic. …

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