>Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova has defeated former world number one Justin Henin 6-4, 7-6 in the third round of the Australian Open today. Justine had beaten Sveta on 16 previous occasions, but despite some nerves when serving for the match, Sveta came through with the win and a bit of an upset.
To be fair Henin is still clearly struggling with her recovering elbow. Justine served numerous double faults with a strapped wrist to try and help her absorb the pace of Kuznetsova’s shots.
The Russian looked in good form for most of the match, pushing Henin around the court as she struggled to find form. She now faces Francesca Schiavone.
Q. You said there are no excuses. Fully understood, but you were wearing a strapping on the elbow. It’s not a big question for us.
JUSTINE HENIN: I know I’m not 100%. I knew it before walking on the court. That’s why I say there are no excuses. I decided to play not being 100%. 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 been really much more aggressive than me, coming a lot to the net and going for the winners. She has, yeah, all the credit today.
Q. Been six months since you injured the elbow. Are you surprised it’s taken so long to get it right again?
JUSTINE HENIN: It is long, yeah, but I knew it could be long. Also could be home this week and I was here to compete. Not at my best yet, but I think I did a lot of improvement in the last few months.
I knew it was serious problem. It’s not the end yet. I will have to be patient.
Q. So if this wasn’t a Grand Slam, would you have delayed your comeback a bit longer?
JUSTINE HENIN: I don’t know. I don’t know. Yeah, it’s important to come back and to play, to make my arm stronger; in another way, it’s not that easy to you don’t compete at your best. But it’s a choice, and I made that one.
I think it was still a good one.