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Henin Rallies To Reach Semi-finals

Miami, USA

Justin Henin - Sony Ericsson Open - Miami 2010© Getty ImagesJustin Henin is one win from her second Sony Ericsson Open final.

Justine Henin’s comeback season gained further momentum Wednesday when she rallied from a set down to defeat World No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki to reach the Sony Ericsson Open semi-finals in Miami. The Belgian former World No. 1 dropped the first set in a tie-break but hit back hard to topple recent Indian Wells finalist Wozniacki 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4. 

Henin could face countrywoman Kim Clijsters, herself less than one year into a comeback, in the semi-finals. Reigning US Open champion Clijsters, seeded No. 14, faces ninth-seeded Australian Samantha Stosur tonight.

Henin, a Sony Ericsson Open finalist in 2007, continued her stunning return to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour since ending her 18-month retirement in January.  Henin reached finals in Brisbane and the Australian Open in her first two tournaments but suffered a second-round loss to Gisela Dulko in Indian Wells two weeks ago.

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Wozniacki played the better tennis in the first set, but, leading 6-2 in the tie-break, nerves got the better of her and she squandered three set points before Henin netted a backhand to hand the first set to the Dane.

In the second and third sets Henin won 25 of 27 points on her first serve and made less unforced errors in those two sets (23) than she did in the first set alone (27).

“My  unforced errors I'm not really worried about, because I did hit a lot of winners," Henin said. "I have to be more consistent during the whole match. I did 30 unforced errors in the first set and only 20 for the last two sets. I prefer these stats actually (smiling).
“I didn't play for two years, so it's good to be on the court a little bit longer.  Still, physically I was feeling, I wouldn't say fresh at the end, but I could play my best tennis on my last service game.  So that was something I was happy about."

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Wozniacki said that she knew coming into the match that Henin would be dangerous despite her extended break from the game. “She had a break for 18 months, but she was still practicing hard and she has been working out a lot and she's been No. 1 in the world. She has the experience and the package that she needs to be a great player again.

“So, no, I wasn't really surprised [at how well Henin played]. It's really difficult to play matches again after you haven't played for a while, but I think she just didn't feel the pressure. She just went out there and enjoyed, and she's why the results also are coming. If you practice, then the results will come.”


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