Justine Henin solidified her hold on the World's #1 ranking by dispatching both Williams' sisters enroute to the U.S. Open Championship.
First Justine knocked down Serena in the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 drubbing. "The Belgian tennis queen silenced the anxious crowd and doubting American critics with tremendous shot making, and champion's poise. Justine now leads their major head-to-head record 4-2", noted Henin's official website.
Then, according to the New York Post (9/7/07), Richard Williams, reverting to his old braggadacio (sic) ways, predicted his daughter would beat Justine in the semifinals and win the U.S. Open. "I believe Venus can whip anyone here," Papa Williams declared to three reporters, "I don't think no one (sic) here is going to beat Venus."
The Post added that Serena raised eyebrows during a surly press conference after the match, saying her opponent won because Henin "hit a lot of lucky shots and I made a lot of errors."
This remark was even too much for Mr. Williams, who 'clarified' this insult by saying that Serena should have skipped the Open and her "lucky" remark referred to the Belgian being fortunate that Serena was hurt. But then he went on to discuss a "shopping list" of Serena's allegedly undisclosed ailments, including a hamstring pull and left-knee swelling from a past operation. "That's why she felt Justine hit lucky shots because she couldn't move", added Pa Williams.
Papa Williams has been known in the past to stretch the truth.
Basically, Serena looked beat the entire second set. To this amateur she appeared old, overweight and out of shape as Justine motored around the court, hitting sizzling passing shots.
And Justine went on to defeat Venus Williams, 7-6, (7-2), 6-4 in the semifinals. It was two hours of astonishing shot making, athleticism, deft hands, and exhilirating speed from two champions. But Venus finally wilted under a twin barrage of Henin's incredible speed and dazzling passing shots.
In the final, Justine easily def. Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1 6-3 in just 82 mins. So Justine Henin did not concede a set during the Open!
Justine had her own unpublicized health problems, evident during the Venus Williams match, when she called for a trainer. She could not go to Beijing (cancelled 9/12) because of continuing asthma problems. But in MrKen's estimation-and more importantly her own-she raised her tennis to a new, higher, level.
John McEnroe, despite his admiration for Justine's style of play and mental toughness, is wrong. Justine Henin at her best can defeat BOTH Serena and Venus Williams at their best. And I can't wait for her to do it again...
Justine is clearly the 'Class' of the Women's game-- in more ways than one...
"I didn't play Venus in four years, but she was my semi-final opponent. I can't tell you enough how enormous my motivation was. I think we reached an incredible level of tennis in that match, and it will remain as one of the best matches of my career." -- Justine Henin
Justine Henin's official fan website: http://www.justine-henin.be/public/shownews.asp?Lang=en&id=3245