Justine Henin enjoyed the perfect peraration for Wimbledon when she beat Germany’s Andrea Petkovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to win the women’s title here on Saturday.
It was also a timely boost on grass for the Belgian as she heads to London in pursuit of the only Grand Slam to have eluded her. It was very evident that Henin is a clay court player at heart, and even though Petkovic played well she is not among the elite players who will oppose Henin at Wimbledon. Grass court tennis is a power game, and Henin has neither the serve nor the ground strokes to inflict any damage on the sod.
Henin, the top seed here, was forced to dig deep for this victory as she dropped the first set, then trailed 0-3 in the final set.
Her 22-year-old German opponent had only appeared in one final before when she won at Bad Gastein last year but she showed few nerves as she tested Henin in the opening set.
She kept her cool to bag the one break point that presented itself during the first set going on to take it 6-3.
Henin, however, bounced back to take the second as both players struggled on their own serve. Henin dropped her serve once but broke Petkovic twice to restore parity.
It was the German, though, who took a grip on the third set, breaking Henin’s first service game to open up a 3-0 lead. But Henin, who is ranked 17 for Wimbledon, hit back to break Petkovic twice and snatch the set and the title.
Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky took the men’s title, needing just 56 minutes to dispose of Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-0.
It was Stakhovsky’s third tour win having taken the Zagreb Indoor crown in 2008 and the St. Petersburg Open last year.
The 24-year-old from Kiev, ranked 71 in the world, did not drop a set all week and had his serve broken just three times in 46 games.
Tipsarevic, ranked 20 places higher, had a disastrous day, claiming just nine points in a second set that lasted a mere 22 minutes.