Henin Shocked by Greek in Opener at Wimbledon

Posted on June 22, 2005

Former No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne will have to wait another year to complete her career slam, as on Tuesday the Belgian was unceremoniously hedged from Wimbledon 7-6(8), 2-6, 7-5 by Greece's Eleni Daniilidou.

Coming off the French Open title, Henin-Hardenne was tagged by many as the slight favorite in the competitive grasscourt field, looking to surpass her effort of 2001 when she reached the Wimbledon final before being stopped in three sets by Venus Williams. The loss put to an end Henin-Hardenne's 24-match win streak, all on clay. The Belgian, somewhat mistakenly in hindsight but conceding to her leg injury, chose to skip the two weeks of Wimbledon warm-up tournaments.

"I didn't have the best preparation for coming here," said Henin-Hardenne, who complained of additional pain from her hamstring injury. "That was the worst draw I could get. So I'm not gonna be positive today, and I have no excuse. But it's been difficult time for me on Court No. 1 today. I never felt the good rhythm, and I missed some opportunities in the third set."

The Belgian struggled on serve in the third set, breaking back for 3-4 but forced to save two match points while serving at 4-5. She was then broken serving at 5-6, going for the throat-clutcher and double-faulting on match point.

"I got tight," Henin-Hardenne said. "And for sure when you think about your injury, everything is getting worse."

With two French Open championships under her belt, Henin-Hardenne only needs Wimbledon to add to her Australian Open (2004) and US Open (2003) titles to complete a career slam.

No. 4 seed Serena Williams escaped an upset herself, coming from a set down to defeat fellow African-American Angela Haynes 6-7(12), 6-4, 6-2.

"I felt like I was feeling my way around. I felt like I made some errors that shouldn't have been made," Serena said. "I did have a major let down as I felt I should have won the tiebreak but I was so angry I just thought I must go to the third set."

Defending champ Maria Sharapova defeated Nuria Llagostera Vives 6-2, 6-2 in an inconsistent display to advance into the second round, debuting her new golden shoes.

"I can get a lot better from here obviously," Sharapova said. "I did enough to win and, you know, pretty satisfied."

Other seeded winners on the day were (8) Nadia Petrova (d. Ruano Pascual from a set down), (11) Vera Zvonareva (d. Weingartner 6-0 in the third), (14) Venus Williams (d. Birnerova), (16) Nathalie Dechy (d. Camerin), (19) Ana Ivanovic (d. Douchevina), (20) Daniela Hantuchova (d. Linetskaya from a set down), (26) Flavia Pennetta (d. Gagliardi), (29) Marion Bartoli (d. Fujiwara), and (32) Virginie Razzano (d. Castano from a set down).

Three other seeds were ousted Tuesday in (18) Tatiana Golovin (l. to A.Bondarenko), (21) Francesca Schiavone (l. to Brandi 9-7 in the third) and (31) Anabel "Funky Cold" Medina Garrigues (l. to Srebotnik).

Other un-seeds into the second round Tuesday were Russian Tatiana Panova (d. Raymond), Israel's Shahar Peer (d. Tu), Americans Laura Granville (d. Klara "Kouky" Koukalova) and Jill Craybas (d. countrywoman Harkleroad in three), Brit Jane O'Donoghue (d. Groenefeld from a set down), Korean Yoon Jeong Cho (d. Santonja), France's Severine Beltrame (d. Schaul), Spanish former champ Conchita Martinez (d. K.Bondarenko), Zimbabwe's Cara Black (d. Ondraskova), Italy's Mara Santangelo (d. Poutchek), Bulgarian teen Sesil Karatancheva (d. Janes in three), Argentine Gisela Dulko (d. Fedak), Czech Kveta Peschke (d. Randriantefy), the Ukraine's Julia Vakulenko (d. Garbin), France's Stephanie Foretz (d. Chladkova in three), and Aussie Nicole Pratt (d. Cervanova from a set down).

On tap for Wednesday are (5) Kuznetsova vs. Mirza (Indian won their last meeting), (15) Clijsters vs. Irvin, (3) Mauresmo vs. Sanchez Lorenzo, (1) Davenport vs. Jamea "Action" Jackson in an all-American, Klaschka vs. (6) Dementieva, Diaz-Oliva vs. (17) Jankovic, Washington vs. Selima "S'close" Sfar, Vinci vs. Anne "Kosmo" Kremer, (22) Farina Elia vs. Vento-Kabchi, (9) Myskina vs. Nakamura, (27) Vaidisova vs. Pastikova, Antonella Serra "Nevada" Zanetti vs. Arvidsson, Perry vs. Tanasugarn, Shaughnessy vs. (13) Likhovtseva, Kirilenko vs. Maleeva, and Strycova vs. (30) Safina.