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Henin loses to Stosur, Nadal advances

By The Assam Tribune

PARIS, June 1 (Agencies): Justine Henin kept saying it, even if no one was listening.

She�s not back to being the player she was before taking a 20-month hiatus from tennis. She�s still searching for consistency on court. Too many �ups and downs,� to use her term.

Turns out Henin was right. Betrayed down the stretch by her best stroke, the backhand, and by her usually steely nerves, the four-time French Open champion lost to No. 7-seeded Sam Stosur of Australia 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the fourth round on Monday, ending Henin�s 24-match winning streak at her favourite tournament.

�Everyone wants to see me (at) the level that I was,� said Henin, who abruptly retired in May 2008 while ranked No. 1, then returned to the tour this season and reached the Australian Open final in January. �I still have to work a lot, quite simply.�

Thanks to her 2005-07 titles at Roland Garros, and then the time away, it�s been six years since Henin felt the sting of a loss at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament � all the way back in 2004�s second round.

�Obviously, beating Justine is going to give me lots and lots of confidence for the next match,� said Stosur, a French Open semifinalist in 2009 and a tour-best 18-2 on clay this year. �That�s obviously a great achievement for me, but it�s not over yet. I�m just in the quarters and going to play the No. 1 player in the world next.�

That would be Serena Williams, who stumbled at the start before cruising to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over No. 18 Shahar Peer of Israel. Williams dropped the first seven points of the match, then immediately took nine a row and was on her way.

�I seem to always be able to turn it up during this particular stage,� said Williams, who won two of the past three Grand Slam tournaments and owns 12 major titles.

The other quarterfinal in that half of the draw will be No. 4 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia against 36th-ranked Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan. Jankovic beat No. 23 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 6-4, 6-2, while Shvedova eliminated 107th-ranked Jarmila Groth of Australia 6-4, 6-3.

In men�s fourth-round matches, four-time champion Rafael Nadal improved to 200-16 on clay over his career by overcoming four breaks of serve to defeat No. 24 Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 6-2, 7-5, 6-4. A year ago, Nadal lost in the fourth round � he was 31-0 at Roland Garros before that stunning exit against Robin Soderling � but he insisted that didn�t make him any more careful this time.

Now Nadal will meet No. 19 Nicolas Almagro, who knocked off No. 7 Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4. Also on Monday, No. 3 Novak Djokovic of Serbia eliminated the last US man in the tournament, 98th-ranked Robby Ginepri of Kennesaw, Ga., 6-4, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, and No. 22 Jurgen Melzer of Austria beat 114th-ranked qualifier Teimuraz Gabashvili of Russia 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

At 29, Melzer is the oldest man left in the field. He�s also reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal in 32 appearances. �Well, to be the oldest player is not a special feeling,� Melzer said. �Reaching the quarterfinals for the first time � that�s a special feeling.�

Williams might have forgotten what it feels like to reach the semifinals in Paris: She hasn�t been that far at the French Open since 2003, a year after she won her only championship at the tournament.

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Henin loses to Stosur, Nadal advances

PARIS, June 1 (Agencies): Justine Henin kept saying it, even if no one was listening.

She�s not back to being the player she was before taking a 20-month hiatus from tennis. She�s still searching for consistency on court. Too many �ups and downs,� to use her term.

Turns out Henin was right. Betrayed down the stretch by her best stroke, the backhand, and by her usually steely nerves, the four-time French Open champion lost to No. 7-seeded Sam Stosur of Australia 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the fourth round on Monday, ending Henin�s 24-match winning streak at her favourite tournament.

�Everyone wants to see me (at) the level that I was,� said Henin, who abruptly retired in May 2008 while ranked No. 1, then returned to the tour this season and reached the Australian Open final in January. �I still have to work a lot, quite simply.�

Thanks to her 2005-07 titles at Roland Garros, and then the time away, it�s been six years since Henin felt the sting of a loss at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament � all the way back in 2004�s second round.

�Obviously, beating Justine is going to give me lots and lots of confidence for the next match,� said Stosur, a French Open semifinalist in 2009 and a tour-best 18-2 on clay this year. �That�s obviously a great achievement for me, but it�s not over yet. I�m just in the quarters and going to play the No. 1 player in the world next.�

That would be Serena Williams, who stumbled at the start before cruising to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over No. 18 Shahar Peer of Israel. Williams dropped the first seven points of the match, then immediately took nine a row and was on her way.

�I seem to always be able to turn it up during this particular stage,� said Williams, who won two of the past three Grand Slam tournaments and owns 12 major titles.

The other quarterfinal in that half of the draw will be No. 4 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia against 36th-ranked Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan. Jankovic beat No. 23 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 6-4, 6-2, while Shvedova eliminated 107th-ranked Jarmila Groth of Australia 6-4, 6-3.

In men�s fourth-round matches, four-time champion Rafael Nadal improved to 200-16 on clay over his career by overcoming four breaks of serve to defeat No. 24 Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 6-2, 7-5, 6-4. A year ago, Nadal lost in the fourth round � he was 31-0 at Roland Garros before that stunning exit against Robin Soderling � but he insisted that didn�t make him any more careful this time.

Now Nadal will meet No. 19 Nicolas Almagro, who knocked off No. 7 Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4. Also on Monday, No. 3 Novak Djokovic of Serbia eliminated the last US man in the tournament, 98th-ranked Robby Ginepri of Kennesaw, Ga., 6-4, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, and No. 22 Jurgen Melzer of Austria beat 114th-ranked qualifier Teimuraz Gabashvili of Russia 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

At 29, Melzer is the oldest man left in the field. He�s also reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal in 32 appearances. �Well, to be the oldest player is not a special feeling,� Melzer said. �Reaching the quarterfinals for the first time � that�s a special feeling.�

Williams might have forgotten what it feels like to reach the semifinals in Paris: She hasn�t been that far at the French Open since 2003, a year after she won her only championship at the tournament.