Henin-Hardenne beats Mauresmo

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/J/Justinehenin.jpg' class='caption'> Justine Henin-Hardenne won her first WTA Championships title Sunday, beating Amelie Mauresmo 6-4, 6-3.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:37 IST
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Justine Henin-Hardenne won her first WTA Championships title Sunday, beating Amelie Mauresmo 6-4, 6-3 a day after clinching the season-ending No 1 ranking for the second time. The Belgian won when Mauresmo double-faulted on match point - her fourth double-fault of the day. Henin-Hardenne, who won her sixth title of the year, beat Mauresmo in a final for the first time this season. The Frenchwoman won both the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles over Henin-Hardenne. "It's the first time I play well in championships, and it's not my best surface but I proved I could play here and I played well on it,'' Henin-Hardenne said. "It's been an unbelievable week." Henin-Hardenne had 16 break chances on the hard indoor court and got her second of the first set in the ninth game with a backhand return down the line. Henin-Hardenne had double-break chances on nine of Mauresmo's 10 service games. "You know how hard it was in the last few weeks and I didn't expect to win it. I played very aggressive and I really wanted this victory so I came out only to win it. I put a lot of pressure on every point," Henin-Hardenne said. The 24-year-old Belgian missed nearly two months while recovering from a muscle tear in her right knee. Henin-Hardenne is the first player since Steffi Graf in 1993 to reach all four Grand Slams finals and the WTA Championships final in the same year, and only the fifth ever. The Belgian won the French Open but lost to Maria Sharapova in the US Open final. Henin-Hardenne earned $1 million for Sunday's win, while Mauresmo received $500,000. Mauresmo will finish as the third-ranked player when the new rankings are released on Monday. Henin-Hardenne earned the top ranking by reaching the final, and Sharapova will be second. Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur defended their doubles title, beating Cara Black and Rennae Stubbs 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in a repeat of the last year's final. (AP)

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