Fri, May 09, 2008 - Page 23 News List

Justine Henin eliminates Chan from German Open

AFP , BERLIN

Yung-Jan Chan from Taiwan returns the ball during her match against Justine Henin from Belgium at the German Open tennis tournament in Berlin on Wednesday.

PHOTO: AP

World No. 1 Justine Henin was pleased with her convincing performance to reach the third round here at the German Open with a straight sets win over Chan Yung-jan in just under an hour.

On her last WTA appearance, Henin was hammered 6-2, 6-0 by Serena Williams in the quarter-finals of the Miami tournament last month which she admits dented her confidence, but she looked very sharp in Berlin.

The Belgian needed just 58 minutes and 50 seconds to see off Chan, 93rd in the world, from Taiwan and after white-washing her opponent 6-0 in the first set, she had few problems to take the second 6-2.

“It was pretty quick and I was pleased to get a good win,” Henin said.

“It has almost been one year since I last played on clay and I want to keep that kind of intensity for the rest of the week,” she said. “I had a break after Miami and I felt pretty good out there.”

The 25-year-old Henin will now meet 13th seeded Russian Dinara Safina for a place in the last 16 and is on course to meet Williams in the quarter-finals.

All four of the top seeds safely made it into the third round on Wednesday.

Last year’s defeated finalist, and this year’s third seed, Svetlana Kuznetsova sealed a 6-3, 6-2 win over Colombia’s Catalina Castano and plays 15th seed Alona Bondarenko in the third round.

Earlier, defending champion Ana Ivanovic admitted she would love to break Williams’ winning streak if the pair meet in the Berlin final.

Ivanovic made the third round with a straight sets win over lucky loser Akgul Amanmuradova, but the world number two is on the opposite side of the draw to both Williams and Henin. Ivanovic, 20, faces Austria’s Sybille Bammer in the third round, while Williams will play Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska to set up a possible quarter-final clash with Henin.

Former world No. 1 Williams picked up her sixteenth consecutive win on Tuesday and Ivanoic says she would love to be the one to stop Williams.

“For sure, Serena is playing really well, she is on top of her game and 100 percent fit,” said Ivanovic. “I didn’t see her game on Tuesday, but I would love to play her.”

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