Henin Too Strong for Schnyder

Justine Henin headed the field into the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over the left-handed Patty Schnyder of Switzerland that proved she is in convincing form for the countdown to winning the Wimbledon title for the first time.
Henin's win in 56 minutes provided ample evidence that she has maintained the form she showed in winning the French Open title and then the pre-Wimbledon tournament on grass at Eastbourne. It is just a question now of how she handles the later stages with its special demands.

Rain delayed the start on the Centre Court today for just over an hour and Henin went straight into a 3-0 lead against Schnyder who she was playing for the ninth time, but the first on grass.

The 15th-seeded Schnyder, whose only win against Henin was on a clay court in Charleston last year, took the Belgian’s serve in the fourth game but lost her own immediately, despite showing her class with one of the best drop shots of The Championships. She tried another on her only game point but it was not of the same standard and Henin ran it down.

Serving for the set, Henin reached set point with a service winner. The next rally ended with a shot to the baseline being called out but Henin won a challenge. When the point was replayed, she took the set after 31 minutes.

Schnyder, as the highest ranked left-hander in the top 50, certainly knows her way around Wimbledon having played The Championships 12 times. She has had her best year this time by reaching the fourth round.

She started the second set with real determination and saved a break point before finally grinding out a 1-0 lead on her third game point. But there the Swiss player’s challenge came to an end. She was broken in the third game on her fifth double fault and two more double faults ended the fifth game.

Henin took the match to love with a service winner and departed to start thinking about the quarter-finals where Serena Williams or Daniela Hantuchova will be her opponent.

Henin has played two finals at Wimbledon, 2001 and then again last year, but has lost both. Perhaps it will be third time lucky for her this year.
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