Mon, Jan 21, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Henin brings Hsieh back down to earth

PLUCKY RUN ENDS The Belgian set up a clash with Maria Sharapova by disposing of Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei in a match in which the World No.1 showed her class

By Tony Phillips  /  STAFF WRITER

Hsieh Su-wei plays a backhand return during her match against Justine Henin at the Australian Open in Melbourne yesterday. Henin won 6-2, 6-2.

PHOTO: AP

World No. 1 Justine Henin brought Hsieh Su-wei's remarkable run at the Australian Open to an end yesterday with a 6-2, 6-2 fourth-round defeat of the 22-year-old from Taipei.

It was the first time a Taiwanese player had progressed so far at a Grand Slam tournament, a feat made all the more impressive by the fact that Hsieh had to win three matches in the qualifying tournament before even making the main draw.

Although things looked ominous when Henin, a seven-time Grand Slam winner, broke Hsieh's serve in the first game of the match, the Taiwanese immediately broke back and won her next service game to love.

She then had a break point in the next game which would have put her 3-1 up but sent a forehand wide and Henin survived the scare.

After that the Belgian began to show the gulf in class that separates her from her 158-ranked opponent.

Henin broke Hsieh's serve in the fifth game and again in the seventh after the Taiwanese had already saved two other break points. Henin then served out the next game to take the set.

The pattern continued in the second set with Henin immediately breaking Hsieh's serve before racing to a 5-0 lead. The Taiwanese saved a match point in the sixth game before surprising everybody by going on to take the game.

She also won the next game to make the score respectable but it was only postponing the inevitable. Henin took her subsequent service game to wrap up the win in 74 minutes.

The Belgian now faces Russia's Maria Sharapova in the last eight.

Meanwhile, Chan Yung-jan and Chuang Jia-jung maintained a Taiwanese presence in Melbourne by beating Laura Granville of the US and Vladimira Uhlirova of the Czech Republic in straight sets in the second round of the women's doubles. Chan and Chuang, the No. 3 seeds, cruised past their opponents 6-1, 6-4 yesterday.

Chan also teamed up with Eric Butorac of the US in the first round of the mixed doubles to pull off an impressive victory over No. 4 seeds Jie Zheng of China and Daniel Nestor of Canada. They took the match 7-5, 7-6 in 69 minutes.

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