Blog: Serena wins Aussie Open title
Top-ranked Serena Williams takes on Justine Henin for the Australian Open title. Will Serena win her second straight crown Down Under, or will Henin complete her amazing comeback from retirement? Follow all the action with our game-by-game blog.
Game 8: She sure did want it! Serena comes out serving huge, beating Henin into submission and finishing off her fifth career Australian Open championship with a backhand to the back corner.
Game 7: A heavy-hitting Williams overwhelms Henin, notching another break and letting out some emotion. She'll have a chance to serve out the match.
Game 6: This time, Serena backs up that break with a hold of her own, finishing it off with a second serve ace. She's two games from the title.
Game 5: Henin coughs it right up again when she sails a backhand wide and long. Serena back up a break.
Game 4: Once again, we've been fooled. Serena gives Henin a look at 0-40, saves two of the break points, then watches Henin jump all over a short second serve to get us level again.
Game 3: Well, this is a tough match to figure out. Just when you think Henin has it under control, Serena breaks for the early advantage in the set.
Game 2: Serena gives Henin two break points but erases them both and earns another tough hold.
Game 1: Serena doesn't know what hit her. Henin holds at love to continue her streak of consecutive points.
Game 9: Henin is on an absolute roll, jumping out to a 0-40 lead on Serena's serve. Three set points. She only needs the first. We'll start the year with a three-set final. Buckle up, everyone.
Game 8: Henin's feeling it now. She holds before you can blink and is one game from a third set.
Game 7: Don't count Henin out by any stretch of the imagination. She scratches out a break to re-take the lead in the second. Are we headed for a third set?
Game 6: Maybe long rallies aren't the key for Henin. A lengthy exchange at 30-30 results in a break chance for Serena. Henin saves it, then goes on for a critical hold.
Game 5: A strong hold from Serena. 3-2.
Game 4: Serena comes right back to gain a 15-40 edge and cashes in on her second break point, then pumps a fist in celebration. We're back on serve.
Game 3: Henin rides the momentum into a 0-40 start on Serena's serve, then finishes the break with a running backhand pass. What a momentum swing in a few minutes' time. Henin up a break in the second.
Game 2: Henin gives Serena two break points but staves off the threat at a crucial juncture in the match. 1-1.
Game 1: An easy hold for Serena to start the second. She doesn't look so injured all of a sudden. She can taste that title.
Game 10: A double fault at 30-30 suddenly gives Serena a set point. Henin saves it with a strong serve, then floats a backhand slice long to give Serena another chance. Henin rips a backhand off the net cord that falls just wide. First set to Serena, though Henin had her opportunities.
Game 9: Serena follows with a hold at love of her own -- her first easy service game of the match. Sorely needed.
Game 8: A hold at love from Henin levels the set. She's had the better go of it with the ball on her racquet so far.
Game 7: And sure enough, two more break chances for Henin at 15-40. Serena saves the first, but Henin finds a sweet angle on a forehand on the next point to finally capitalize. We're back on serve.
Game 6: Henin gets a quick hold. Now, can she finally break through on the Serena serve?
Game 5: Serena slips up following the break and gives Henin a chance at 15-40. A strong serve down the middle saves the first break point. Henin appears to have the next point won after a long rally, but a linesperson's mix-up on a call forces a replay. Serena wins the replay to get to deuce, then wins the next two points for the hold. Bad break for Henin.
Game 4: A double fault gives Serena an opening at 0-30. Williams then pulverizes a backhand cross-court to get three break points. A forehand error hands the early edge to Serena. A break at love.
Game 3: At 30-30, Henin steps way in on a short second serve from Serena and Henin gets a kind bounce off the net cord for another break point. Serena aces her to save it and eventually wins the game ... after five deuces. Another missed opportunity for Henin, but you get the feeling these extended games will pay dividends later.
Game 2: Serena's going for some big shots, cracking a couple gorgeous returns on the Henin serves. The defending champ wants no part of these long games and rallies with her heavily wrapped legs. Henin holds for 1-1.
Game 1: Serena starts with an ace out wide, but a trio of errors give Henin an early window at 15-40. Serena saves both break points, wins a challenge, then fights through a few deuces for a tough hold in an eight-minute opening game. What a start.
Pre-match: Good morning, everyone! Thanks for joining us. Here's the pre-match skinny from FOXSports.com tennis writer Richard Evans gives an update from the scene: "It's been a really hot Melbourne day -- almost the first of the tournament ... We had rather a sweet little demonstration of about 15 young Belgians, grouped obediently for the TV cameras and all daubed with their country's flag, carrying placards reading "Go JuJu!" which seems to be their name for Justine Henin. I'm sure Justine will appreciate their presence but somehow I doubt if they will scare Serena."