While it didn’t work out in Doha for that dream Roger Federer v. Rafael Nadal final, Brisbane got theirs in the women’s field. Later tonight (or Saturday in Brisbane) Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters will lock up in a very intriguing title match.
Henin advanced after destroying Ana Ivanovic 6-3, 6-2 in 66 minutes. Clijsters also cruised, beating Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-2 and the showdown is set.
Henin and Clijsters have split their 20 previous WTA meetings, this being their first clash since Henin’s straight set win at 2006 Wimbledon.
Henin has also won three straight over Kimmy and eight of the last 11 in this rivalry. So despite not having played, she’ll have some confidence and a slight edge over Kim heading into the final.
“It’s always special when I play Kim. It’s a day I like a lot,” Henin said. “It’s a perfect situation to play if it’s a Belgian final. That’s what a lot of people hoped for and expected.”
Said Kim: “Knowing Justine, she’s not the kind of person who’s going to go with the flow, come out and see how things are going. I knew she’d come out here being extremely fit and ready to go from the first point that she played. And she has done that.”
I said in my preview that Henin’s going to need more matches to get her game and timing fully back. Obviously she’s looked good in reaching the final thus far, but this match is a big step up from Nadia Petrova, Melinda Czink and Ana Ivanovic.
A win here would really put her on that track for that No. 1 ranking, but I think Clijsters takes this one. The former “Aussie” Kim should be relaxed and the experience of having won the US Open last year I think helps her here.
Regardless, it’s an interesting match and a great way for the WTA to begin the New Year.
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