“I know I’m not 100 percent,” Henin said. “I knew it before walking on the court. That’s why I say there are no excuses. I decided to play not being 100 percent. It’s been difficult in the last three days on my elbow and I just did everything that I could that it will be okay, but it wasn’t enough. I think Svetlana played a good match. She has all the credit today.”
La Manga Club Tennis Centre is simply one of the World's finest outdoor tennis facilities! Whether you just play tennis for fun or are a top professional, this is definitely the Spanish holiday for you. La Manga Club Tennis Centre is simply one of the World's finest outdoor tennis facilities!
Venus Williams News
Venus Williams and Justine Henin both fail to make round four of the Australian Open to throw the women’s draw wide open.
Venus Williams retires hurt against Andre Petkovic in the night session on day five at the Australian Open, following wins for Caroline Wozniacki, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka.
“It’s a tough third round, Kuznetsova, even she has been a little more in trouble in the last maybe year or two years,” Henin said. “I think she remains a great player, and physically she has a lot of qualities: big forehand, great serve.”
Roger Federer beats Gilles Simon in a classic five-set match, while Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams also go through but Anne Keothavong and Elena Baltacha lose out on day three at the Australian Open.
Venus Williams survived a scare as she booked her place in the third round of the Australian Open.
Venus Williams suffers an injury scare during a tense victory over Sandra Zahlavova in the second round of the Australian Open.
Venus Williams launched her 12th attempt to win the Australian Open title with a comfortable victory over Italian Sara Errani.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP)—Caroline Wozniacki insists she will enter the Australian Open on Monday without anything to prove despite having risen to the No. 1 ranking in women’s tennis without winning a Grand Slam event.
Like Dinara Safina and Jelena Jankovic before her, Wozniacki has risen to the top without a victory in a major and has had to answer many questions about her legitimacy as a true No. 1.
“I’ve got great results, you don’t become No. 1 by winning small tournaments,” said Wozniacki, who won six of her 12 career WTA singles titles in 2010. “I don’t have to prove anything.”
With Serena Williams not defending her title due to a foot injury, the women’s championship at Melbourne Park appears to be wide open with Wozniacki, U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams, last year’s finalist Justine Henin, former champion Maria Sharapova and second-seeded Vera Zvonareva all having realistic chances.
The new year hasn’t been great for the 20-year-old Wozniacki. She lost to Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets in the first round of the Sydney International, which followed two straight-set losses to Zvonareva and Clijsters in exhibition events in Hong Kong and Thailand.
Wozniacki, who plays Gisela Dulko of Argentina in what could be a tough first-round match here, said she wasn’t concerned by the Sydney loss.
“It didn’t really affect me,” Wozniacki said Saturday. “I just played some practice sets, practice matches instead. I’m feeling good to go, feeling in good shape. I’m looking forward to these next weeks.”
Henin is also looking forward to yet another virtual homecoming in Melbourne. She lost the final here last year to Serena Williams only three tournaments into a comeback to the tour after 20 months in retirement. She won the Australian title in 2004, retired in the final against Amelie Mauresmo in 2006 and lost to Sharapova in the quarterfinals in 2008, only a few months before she quit.
That made Henin the only woman to retire while holding the No. 1 ranking.
Henin withdrew from all post-Wimbledon events in 2010 with a right elbow injury, but started 2011 in good form by leading Belgium to the Hopman Cup team final in Perth, Australia.
“I feel very happy and very lucky I can be here because…I wasn’t quite sure I could be here,” Henin said. “It was my big comeback last year … then a lot of things happened. It was tough, after five months of my comeback, to be away for such a long period. But now I can say I’m getting there. Slowly but surely I’m almost healthy. “
Perhaps not good enough to win the title due to the ongoing pain in her elbow, but she’ll never say never.
“What I said is I’ll probably need a few more months to be completely free of the pain,” she said. “It doesn’t mean I cannot compete and try to be close to my best or what I can produce. But I need matches, I need rhythm … but we all know a lot of things can happen.”
Henin isn’t willing to predict who will be in the women’s final on Jan. 29.
“It’s the beginning of the season, everyone is fresh mentally, but you need to find the rhythm again of the competition,” she said.
“You still have the older generation, I’m part of it … Kim, Venus of course. Then the new generation is coming up. It’s going to be a big battle. We know the few names that can go to the end, but a lot of surprises also happen in Grand Slams.”
Sharapova has had two lengthy injury layoffs since winning the Australian Open in 2008—seven weeks last year with a right elbow injury, preceded by nearly 10 months off with a right shoulder injury and surgery from August 2008 to May 2009.
A first-round loser last year, she’s still not completely fit but hopes memories of three years ago will help her through.
“No years take away from the year that you did so well here and you won,” Sharapova said Saturday. “I played extremely great tennis against really, really tough opponents.
“I had one of my toughest draws in a Grand Slam I ever played. That’s definitely something you look back to, especially when you go out on that center court, the memories and the great times.”
Wozniacki is a paper No. 1, and cannot beat the biggest guns in the game in the form of Clijsters (0-2 career head to head), Serena Williams (0-2), and Venus Williams (0-4). Everyone else is a level below at the Grand Slams, the level the Woz will soon join. I predict she will lose pre-quarterfinals this year in Melbourne. For Woz fans (me included), hopefully she can regain her game, since she is great for the game: easy on the eyes, well spoken and someone who makes do with what she has in the terms of her on-court approach.