September 1, 2006

Henin survives first-set stumble

By Simon Cambers

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Second seed Justine Henin-Hardenne
recovered from a first-set stumble to beat Japan's Ai Sugiyama
4-6 6-1 6-0 and reach the fourth round of the U.S. Open on

The Belgian lost five games in a row as 28th seed Sugiyama
took the opening set but she roared back to set up a meeting
with Israeli Shahar Peer, the number 21 seed.

Henin-Hardenne looked on course for a straightforward win
when she led 4-1 with two breaks but she lost her way in the
breezy conditions to fall behind.

But the 2003 champion won 12 of the next 13 games to clinch
victory after 103 minutes.

"I didn't have the feeling that I was moving well at the
time, and I lost a little bit my intensity," Henin-Hardenne

"The conditions were pretty difficult. When I lost the
first set, I understood I had no more choice than winning the
next two, and so to be very focused on every point. Then I
played very, very solid tennis at that time.

"These kind of things, in the first set, the fact that she
came back, I just have to avoid that in the future."

Henin-Hardenne won the New Haven event last weekend and
said she was happy with her general level of play in the first
week at Flushing Meadows.

"When I play my game, I do it well," she said. "The fact is
that I just have to keep fighting on every point. Today was a
little bit harder for me than in the other matches, and I
really had to work hard."