Serena Williams Gives Henin Power Lesson for 12th Slam Title
by Staff | January 30th, 2010, 9:50 am

World No. 1 Serena Williams showed she is the queen of power tennis on Saturday in the women’s final at the Australian Open, defeating comeback Belgian Justine Henin 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to claim her fifth title in Melbourne and her 12th Slam title overall.
Henin came out swinging, and her attempt to play Big Girl tennis worked for a stretch at the end of the second set when she strung together 15 straight points to even the match at one-set all. But in the third, with Henin insisting on driving every ball rather than attempting to throw Williams’ rhythm off with varying slice, dropshots and net play, the American showed she is the bigger hitter and even with numerous leg and knee wraps a top-level retriever, running to a 6-2 win in the third.

The stats tell the story of the tight match as Williams had only five more unforced errors than the Belgian and won five more total points overall.

Serena elaborated on her strapped thigh and knee after the win.

“Well, where do I start? How much time do we have?” Serena said. “I pulled a hamstring in Sydney, so I was devastated by that. However, when I strapped it, it felt a lot better. And then something happened to the side of my leg in Sydney. And then when I strapped it, it didn’t feel better, but it helped a little bit. And, of course, I tape my ankles for prevention. I think in the third round I twisted my ankle, and I fell against Victoria Azarenka and hurt my wrist. And then somewhere in between there my toes started hurting.”

Serena fell on her back and held her head in her hands after claiming match point, successfully defending her title from last year as well as winning the doubles title with sister Venus at this 2010 Australian Open. Henin was left with the disappointment of a near miss.

“Of course disappointed, when you lose in the final of a Grand Slam, especially in three sets, and I got a few opportunities that I haven’t been able to take,” Henin said. “But this feeling of disappointment cannot take, you know, uhm, advantage on all the things I’ve done in the last few weeks. And it’s just more than what I could expect for. I just have to remember that. Even if it’s quite soon after the match now, I’m sure there will be a lot of positive things I can think about in a few days. It’s been almost perfect. Just the last step, I couldn’t make it.”

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44 Comments for Serena Williams Gives Henin Power Lesson for 12th Slam Title

jane Says:

Oh well. Maybe next time Henin will win. Still an amazing run for her first slam back. She beat some quality opponents on the way to the final.

jane Says:

“But in the third, with Henin insisting on driving every ball rather than attempting to throw Williams’ rhythm off with varying slice, dropshots and net play,” Why would Henin try to beat Serena at her own game? Weird.

David Says:

I thought Serena’s serve was the difference. She got herself out of a jam at 0-1 in the third set to break a string of 4 straight games lost and then came up with that second serve ace on game point later in the set. Henin, on the other hand, couldn’t hold serve when it counted in the 3rd set.

Kimo Says:

jane said:

“Why would Henin try to beat Serena at her own game? Weird.”

Jon Wertheim wrote the same thing. He said Henin was “too aggressive”.

I think that was a conscious decision Rodriguez and Henin made for her comeback in order to be better at Wimbledon. Just a guess.

jane Says:

Kimo, I haven’t read anything on the women’s final other than Tennis X’s staff report, nor have I watched it yet (it’s on a 10:00 am this morning again). But that comment just struck me as strange. Maybe I will read Wertheim’s account. I’ve been reading what the pundits are saying about the men’s final instead (as I said on Sean’s “who’s the pick” thread, most seem to be picking Fed, in 4).

Kimmi Says:

Sad sad day for me :( but congratulations to serena. She is a fighter. I was hoping for a justine win, but to be honest it was a wishful thinking. Cinderella stories are hard to come by…but ofcourse great effort for reaching the final. I am sure once she gets her game flowing out. I am sure she will win one or two majors this year. Go justine.

Huh Says:

Though I’ve said it in the pevious thread, I’d again like to state it here.


Huh Says:

Henin probably will be the fave to win this year’s FO if things go the way she would like them to.

sonic Says:

Thank god that little cheater lost.

At one point, when Serena went off boil and was making easy mistakes (mostly into the net), Henin was shouting allez on every one. That was 4 points in a row she was screaming allez on Serena mistakes (last game of the second set i belive)…she’s absolutely disguasting. I can’t even feel sorry for her being small and ugly when she behaves like that.

Probably will win the French thou, unfortunately.

Serena’s speech…horrible. The crowd was reacting mostly with stunned silence, luckily. At the end when she said “i’m rambling again” she saved herself a bit, but it was really embarrasing listening to her. Like she was on crack or something.

fed is afraid Says:

too bad about the crowd booing her.
is it cause she’s black, american or
the incident at uso??

Kimmi Says:

Soniv: “Serena’s speech…horrible. The crowd was reacting mostly with stunned silence, luckily. At the end when she said “i’m rambling again” she saved herself a bit, but it was really embarrasing listening to her. Like she was on crack or something.”

Did not listen to her speech but LOOOOLz

Kimmi Says:

sorry sonic, not “soniv”

sar Says:

Didn’t watch Serena but did see Bryans beat Nestor. So sad. Oh well, hope they will take FO now.

andrea Says:

that break point opportunity early in the third set was crucial. after missing that, henin seemed to deflate and looked a little tired.

but credit to her for making it a 3 set affair with only 40% or so first serves! that was really bad. her serve was so on during the zheng match.

and she was so aggressive on serena’s second serves. standing well in the baseline and ripping those backhands. she obviously wanted to keep it deep, but the better tactic would have been to get the ball in play and make serena play more ralleys or draw an UE off the return.

but, good effort for first GS back in the game! and congrats to serena. she pulls it out yet again even though she looked like she just got pulled out of the rubble in haiti with all those bandages on.

Von Says:

Yahoo, great win for Serena!! Way to go champ, you’re ACES in my book!! and, for those who *hate* her, too bad is all I can say.

Also, congrats to both Serena and Venus for taking the doubles title, but I would have liked to see Liesl Huber win that one as she’s now a naturalized American citizen and a wonderful champ, american or not. Anyway, at least an American team won, so it’s all A-OK.

And, absolutely greater win for the Bryans to finally obtain a GS win over Nestor/Zim. That was one sweet win which was waaaay overdue. They’ve been knocked out by Nestor/Zim so badly that I was beginning to wonder if they’ll ever get it together and win one. Well, kudos to them for not letting it psychologically affect them by hanging in there and still believing they can win.

The wins by Serena/Venus, in women’s doubles, Serena in singles, and the Bryans in men’s doubles has thankfully kept American tennis in the buzz, and for that I’m so very happy.

Von Says:

@ Sonic: I’m with you on your post.

I think Serena was babbling because she was somewhat stunned that she pulled out the W. Let’s not forget Henin beat her 3 times in GS in ’07 at the QF level. Thus, the win over Henin has to have had a stunning effect on Serena, which hampered her vocabulary.

I was a bit shocked at the crowd’s response to Serena and am wondering when some fans will begin to let go of that USO fiasco. I don’t get it with the perpetual selective, obsessive reaction to that incident by some tennis fans. And, it’s not like the other players don’t behave badly, sheesh.

Huh, I read your congrats for Serena on another thread. Thanks for your enthusiastic words — it’s appreciated!!

jane Says:

I didn’t think Serena’s speech was that bad. She was a little out of it, but she hit all the right spots. Mind you, once she did acknowledge she was babbling, she could have stopped. LOL.

But yeah, she’s not my fave by any stretch, but she’s a champion. No one can really argue that.

Von Says:

How could she have stopped talking in mid sentence? It was only after she realized she was ‘babbling’ that she remembered to thank the sponsors and the fans. I don’t fault her for that, as it must have been very upsetting for her to hear the crowd booing her after she had just won a GS title. Wouldn’t we all? After all, she’s human and is susceptible to brain lapses just like all of us = a senior moment.

fed is afraid Says:

everywhere she goes serena gets booed.
it’s such a shame, she is a great
champion and deserves better treatment
from the crowd.

Von Says:

As I mentioned previously, I’m amazed at how selective people are with respect to what’s proper and improper. Proper decorum applies to some, and a blind eye and deaf ear is turned away from others. It’s rampant on this blog for sure, where some can say what they want and others are supposed to keep quiet. OY.

Rsutherland Says:

Both incredible players, true.
But choosing between Serena’s tantrums and Henin’s well publicized cheating (FO)….hmm.
Justine will always be a cheater to me.
What’s up with that sports bra of hers anyway? Why?

jane Says:

LOL – yeah maybe it was a senior moment Von. I thought it was interesting that she said something to the effect of “I don’t know when I am going to be up here again … so I am going to keep talking” and it reminded me of Julia Robert’s oscar speech. But it was also surprising since Serena’s on the winning podium so often! Maybe deep down she realizes the competition for slams may be a little stiffer with Kim and Justine back and with up and comers maybe (?) getting some steam. Anyhow, as I said, I didn’t think the speech was so bad.

People should rarely boo the players in general and imo. They are human and they’re out there competing and entertaining us. They deserve a lot of respect. Even when their tempers or weaknesses or whatever show…

Von Says:

“What’s up with that sports bra of hers anyway? Why?”

LOL, @ Rsutherland.

Talking about sports bra, has anyone noticed that Venus is now wearing one, or a one with more support, and seems to have some enhancement going for her?? Is it my imagination, or did she actually have something done?

Von Says:

I think Serena is coming to terms with her mortality on the tennis court, jane, and it’s the reason behind her comments about standing up on the podium again. I could be way off here, but to me, that would be logical and realistic thinking on her part. She was virtually a walking mummy on the court, and I don’t blame her if she’s decided to play less to avoid more injuries. That decision would definitely curtail her GS success, and standing on the podium at the AO again, one mo’ time.

fed is afraid Says:

great trophy ceremony, just 2 mikes up
there and let the players talk. no idiot
carillo or enberg to take time away from
the players. uso take note.

carparr Says:

TV coverage of the rebroadcast, early ET in US, on ESPN2, and now on Tennis Channel (about 9 PM ET), covered the first set (6-4), then, after a commercial break, the score is Williams 3, Henin 2. So they SKIPPED FIVE GAMES? Also, we did not see the award ceremony either. What gives?

thetennisguy Says:

Finished watching the Aussie Open Women’s match this morning … ESPN did cover it live this morning at 12:30 a.m. so with a DVR … got to watch it first thing this am. Sentimental favorite Justine … love her game, glad she’s back, didn’t understand her new “power game” or match strategy.Still she had her chance and a made nice run at the end of the 2nd and beginning of the third. Her shot selection is usually impeccable; but in this match sometimes suspect. Concerning Serena … a true American champion … strong, mentally tough, relentless, unconquerable and deserving of the title! Well done!

thetennisguy Says:

Dick Enberg or END BERG .. die die die!!!

SG Says:

Nothing wrong with Enberg. Anyone listen to the ESPN Men’s Doubles Finals coverage. Talk about putrid. Even Conan O’Brien could have done better.

SG Says:

Henin is awesome. She’s a better ball striker than Serena and a better athlete. Serena has basically become the Rafa Nadal of the women’s tour. She just wears you down mentally by never quitting.

fed is afraid Says:

there’s alot wrong with enberg
mispronunciation of names, wrong score
inanities galore

jane Says:

The most disappointed I have been with Enberg is not so much in the commentary (though I can’t stand how he says “Na-Doll”, but when he wouldn’t let Delpo say a few words in his own language after he won the USO. That was awkward. Maybe Dick was trying to keep on time or something but you have to be spontaneous to be a good announcer and presentation MC, and he wasn’t. It’s time to retire maybe.

fed is afraid Says:

the producer in dick’s ear was probably telling him
to hurry up so they could get to the vaunted 60 minutes and he let fed talk so long that the
winner was barely able to say anything. but that’s
the uso for you. as an american i have to say it
is the worst major going.

Independent Says:

Congrats Serena!! Singles and Doubles titles is amazing!!

Henin played well in her comeback, but why all the excuses for her not winning? Others have come back like her and won. In 2007 Serena’s ranking was 81 and due to injury and her sister’s death, her time away from Tennis was similar to Henin and she had had played very very little. But she showed up at the Australian Open and was ridiculed by all for being out of condition and not being match ready. The result: she decisively beat #1 Sharapova in the Final 6-1, 6-2.

thetennisguy Says:

SG: There’s nothing wrong with Enberg … ok so what’s right with him? You PUKE!!!

SG: Justine is a better ball striker and athlete than Serena (but not at the Australian Open)… BAITER … Serena is holding the trophy.

My wish for you is to be locked in a room listening to nothing but Enberg, his lame stories, mistaking player names, and OH MY … there’s nothing wrong with Enberg … if you’re deaf, dumb and blind.

James Says:

Some comments on this website are so racist and pathethic and this is an American website! Here is Serena Williams an American tennis champion she won her 12th grand slam and of course white people have to criticize her. My goodness, you Americans take Serena and venus for granted. I feel so sorry for the USA when Serena and Venus retire. Melanie Oudin is good but she’s not great there is nothing extraordinary about her game. At the age of 17 Venus and Serena were already in the WTA top 10. Oudin isn’t even close to the WTA top 10. Also, Oudin LOST in the first round of the Australian Open. So much for the great white American HYPE!!!!

David Says:


What makes you think the people on this site care whether an American is a Slam champion or No. 1 in the world? I think most people here have their preferred playing style and root for players based on that not a player’s nationality.

Just because somebody wants Henin to beat Serena doesn’t make that person racist.

Yasmina Says:

Maybe I’m going deaf but I didnt hear any booing. But the fact of the matter is Serena has tonnes of fans, and if a few idiots wanted to spoil her moment, that’s THEIR problem.Serena won fair and square. Go Serena!

Leo Says:

“I think Serena was babbling because she was somewhat stunned that she pulled out the W. Let’s not forget Henin beat her 3 times in GS in ‘07 at the QF level.”

@ Von, Yes Henin did beat Serena in those 3 QF but if you follow Serena story you will know that this was when Serena was playing inconsistently because after the brutal killing of her sister (who was everything to her), injuries, and she didn’t want to play tennis but somehow she felt that she had to, her mind wasn’t there anymore, she was pursuing acting, Mind you this was arround the years she lost Wimbledon and YEC to Sharapova.

Serena has never lost to neither Sharapova nor Henin when she was willing to play and her focus was there.
The only match she wanted to win and was there mentaly was the controversial one where Henin cheated and with racists French crowd!

If you disgree read her book ON THE LINE/QUEEN OF THE COURT or lets see this the first GS of the year!

Von Says:

Leo: If you read my comments you’ll notice that I’m on Serena’s side. I was defending her and trying to give an explanation of what was determined to be her ‘babbling’. I think she was uptight during the match, no doubt, and was relieved that she won, hence the so-called ‘babbling’. Don’t we all become excited when we obtain good results of what might have been a huge obstacle to overcome? I do, and then we find it difficult to articulate our feelings and joy at the moment. I think Serena felt those emotions, which is the reason I wrote she was “stunned”.

Leo Says:

@Von, I get you, she meets Kim for Billy Jean King Cup, lets check that one out!

Tennis Riga Says:

Smthg was wrong with Justin in 3d set, but grand slam final as a comeback was nice surprice.

Marine Says:

Yeah,Justine didn’t play her usual game but rather tried to copy Serena and just hit hard. And … it didn’t work. Anyway she’s proved she is still a force to be reckoned with and gave me a lot of excitement this AO. Times of headcases are gone!

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