Justine Henin totally dominated in the women’s final of Roland Garros on Saturday. She crushed seventh-seeded Ana Ivanovic 6-1 6-2, the first Serbian player to reach the final of a grand slam. Ivanovic was only the shadow of the exciting newcomer who had thrilled the Paris crowd earlier in the tournament; she challenged the top seed in the first couple of games but then collapsed.
Taking the trophy once again, the 25-year-old Henin became the first woman to win three successive French Open titles since Monica Seles in 1992. In addition, the Belgian is the first woman since tennis turned professional in 1968 to win back-to-back Roland Garros crowns without dropping a set; the last time she dropped a set in Paris was in the fourth round in 2005. She also became fifth woman since 1925 to win the French title four or more times, joining Chris Evert (7), Steffi Graf (6), Margaret Court (5) and Helen Wills Moody (4).
As for Ana Ivanovic, she is still young, and there is no doubt that great results are ahead of her. In the final against superb Henin, her nerves had let her down, but she promised she would remember the lesson. Earlier in the tournament Ana easily beat second-seeded Maria Sharapova, but she wasn’t strong enough for the queen of the French Open.
“In the beginning I felt okay but then all of a sudden I started feeling nervous,” said the 19-year-old Ivanovic.
“I did everything I could. I felt comfortable being in the final but once on the court, I started to think about the situation and there were just too many emotions.”
“This was a great experience,” Ivanovic said. “I can learn from Justine. I’m sure she was nervous too but she dealt with it better because she’s such a great champion.
“If I could have controlled my emotions better, it would have been a different match.”
Ivanovic, who said here how she had started hitting balls at the bottom of an empty swimming pool and later struggled to get visas to leave her war-torn country to play abroad, then reminded everybody she had shone in Paris before the final.
“It’s been an amazing tournament for me,” she said. “I beat great players and I’m proud of what I have achieved. I’m excited about the tournaments I’m going to play and the next chances I’m going to get.”
Convinced that she will learn to handle her emotions in important matches, Ivanovic doesn’t lack confidence and determination.