Henin-Hardenne bounces back

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- In the wee hours of Saturday morning, a dehydrated Justine Henin-Hardenne was sitting on a table in the trainer's room at the U.S. Open, getting intravenous fluids before heading to her hotel to sleep.

Late Saturday afternoon, she was on a practice court, trying to gauge whether she was fit enough to play in her first U.S. Open final a few hours later.

Oh, was she ever.

Taking full advantage of an error-prone opponent, a resilient Henin-Hardenne hit all the right shots and beat No. 1-ranked Kim Clijsters 7-5, 6-1 Saturday night to win her second Grand Slam title of the year.


Both women are Belgian.

Henin-Hardenne fought off two set points in the first set, but otherwise was in control. Of course, that was nothing compared to the 10 times she was within two points of losing to Jennifer Capriati in their thriller of a semifinal the night before.

It was a rematch of the French Open final, which Henin-Hardenne also won in straight sets. She now leads the tour with seven titles in 2003, one more than Clijsters, and moves up to a career-high No. 2 in the rankings, sliding past the injured Serena Williams.

The past two U.S. Opens had all-Williams finals, and either Serena or older sister Venus had won each of the previous four championships. But both sisters missed this tournament.

Also, Jonas Bjorkman and Todd Woodbridge won the men's doubles title. Virginia Ruano Pascual and Paola Suarez won women's doubles. Katarina Srebotnik and Bob Bryan took the mixed doubles title.

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