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Sports Then and Now



Ranking Tennis in 2010: The Top 10 Performances, Part 2 1

Posted on December 21, 2010 by JA Allen

No. 5: Serena Williams Fights Off the Henin Challenge

Serena Williams defeats Justine Henin: 2010 Australian Open Final

Serena Williams defeats Justine Henin to win the Australian Open in 2010.

Was there ever a  more anticipated final in women’s tennis than this one?

Perhaps in the past when Chris Evert met Martina Navratilova or Steffi Graf met Monica Seles before the 1993 stabbing.

With the exception of the French Open, in recent tennis history Serena Williams loomed as a juggernaut with her stranglehold on slam trophies.

But Justine Henin was a winner in her own right.

Henin, when ranked No. 1 in women’s tennis, abruptly retired from the game just prior to the 2008 French Open.

Now, the Belgian was back 19 months later, unseeded and unranked, to play the World No. 1 in the finals of the Australian Open.

The tennis world was abuzz at the Belgian’s rise from the ashes.

Henin, however, did not have enough weapons on the day––especially against the William’s serve to hold onto her advantage after the Belgian took the second set to even the match at one set apiece.

Henin earned break points against Serena in the third set, game two, but could only watch as Serena served rockets that skipped past her.  The Belgian’s spirit broken, Williams closed in out 6-2-3-6, 6-2.

Serena Williams equalled the record of Billie Jean King by winning this match, drawing her ever closer to legendary status.

Serena with 12 slam titles at this point was awarded her trophy by Margaret Court who leads all slam champions with 24 singles grand slam titles.

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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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