2010 Wimbledon: Justine Henin Seeks Career Grand Slam

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2010 Wimbledon: Justine Henin Seeks Career Grand Slam
Julian Finney/Getty Images

It's the year of the Belgians. Or it should have been.

After Kim Clijsters made a grand return to tennis by winning the US Open, and Justine Henin announced her return to tennis, everyone expected the Belgians to take over the always chaotic women's draw.

Clijsters has been out with injury, and Henin lost on her favorite surface at the French Open to upstart Australian player Samantha Stosur.

Henin has seven grand slam titles, but Wimbledon has always evaded her, including a heartbreaking final against Amelie Mauresmo in 2006.

In honor of Henin's return, here is an analysis of what Henin will face as she seeks her first Wimbledon title.

 

First Round:

In the first round, Henin faced Latvian Anstasija Sevastova, who she cruised by, 6-4, 6-3.

Henin had a poor serving match, but she had double the winners of her opponent (24-12).

She'll have to improve on her serving (she had a 48% first serve) in order to make a deep run in the tournament.

 

Second Round:

In the second round Henin will meet Kristina Barrois.

The veteran German has never gone beyond a second round at a Grand Slam in her career and should be an easy match for the Belgian player.

 

Third Round

Barring a serious upset, Henin will face an early challenge in Nadia Petrova, ranked No. 12 in the world.

Petrova continues to improve as a player. She reached the quarterfinals in the Australian and French Opens.

It'll take much better play from Henin than she had in her opening match to get past this tough challenge. In a surface that favors Petrova's power game, it will take Henin's complete game arsenal to make it through.

 

Round of 16

Obviously, as the tournament progresses it's harder to project who she will play, but the favorite to reach the Round of 16 game against Henin would be her fellow countrywoman Clijsters.

Clijsters has played better tennis since her return than Henin, but we're yet to see how well she's recovered from her injury. She looked great in her opening match winning 6-0, 6-3, but fitness may become an issue as the game progresses.

 

Quarterfinals

The favorite to meet Henin would be Elena Jankovic, but this has not been her best tournament so she could possibly meet Alona Bondarenko or Vera Svonareva.

Either way, this part of the draw seems weak, so this match should be easier than the previous two, although do not underestimate the fatigue Henin would have after having to beat two tough opponents in a row early in the tournament.

 

Semifinals

The semifinal will most likely be against Venus Williams, barring a collapse in the tournament.

This would be Williams' game and tournament to lose, as she comes in ranked second in the world and should have a relatively easy draw in what is without a doubt her favorite tournament.

 

Analysis

Honestly, this is not the draw for Henin to pull off the career grand slam.

She's a champion, and should never be discounted. This draw, however, includes too many past champions and too many consistent players for Henin to break through.

She'll have to improve her game a lot from her first match, especially her serving, and hope for some upsets in the draw if she wants this to be her tournament.

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