Justine Henin was always going to be the dangerous wild card floating in the women’s draw. Elena Dementieva (WTA rank 5) was on the receiving end of Henin’s comeback in round two of the Australian Open this evening. The two women battled for just under 3 hours with Henin eventually prevailing 7-5, 7-6.
The match was of such high quality and intensity that Henin looked like she was starting to cramp at the end of the second set but she managed to hang on through the tie break and avoid a third and final set. Dementieva was returning balls to within an inch of the baseline, fighting off match points, breaking back twice to force a tie break.
While there seemed to be some considerable coaching from the sidelines, that continued uncontrolled throughout the match, at times Henin being encouraged to increase the height of her ball toss, both women proved that tennis is literally a game of millimeters at times.
Henin will face Alisa Kleybanova in the next round.