28 Jan 2010

Henin to take on Williams in Australian Open final

7:59 pm on 28 January 2010

Justine Henin will take on defending champion Serena Williams in the final of the Australian Open.

In just her second tennis tournament back after 20 months out of the game, the Belgian crushed China's Zheng Jie 6-1 6-0 in their semifinal at Melbourne Park on Thursday.

Williams beat China's Li Na 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-1) to reach her fifth Australian Open final.

Although heavily strapped on both legs, Williams's serve remained strong and it produced an ace when needed to seal the first set after Li broke back to force a tiebreaker.

Li saved three match points when serving to stay in the match at 5-4, and another at 6-5 to force a second tiebreaker, but conceded the match when Williams served another ace to seal it 7-1.

Williams, the world No 1, has won every one her Australian Open finals - in 2003, 2005, 2007 and last year.

Henin trails Williams 7-6 in their career series, but holds a 4-2 winning record over the American in grand-slam encounters.

The women's final will be played on Saturday.