Justine Edges Jelena
Published April 30, 2010 12:00
STUTTGART, Germany - It was their toughest match yet but the end result was the same as it has always been. Justine Henin continued her mastery over Jelena Jankovic at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, improving to 10-0 in their head-to-head with a 36 76(4) 63 victory in the quarterfinals.
Henin and Jankovic played each other nine times between 2005 and 2007, with the first five meetings going to three sets and the next four ending in straight sets. Friday's clash between the No.4-seeded Jankovic and Henin, a wildcard on account of her recent return, was their closest, with Jankovic coming within a few points of victory in the second set. Highlights: Henin vs. Jankovic
"Jelena was really aggressive today. Slowly but surely I stayed focused and fought," Henin said. "It was a long time since we had played but a lot of them have been close. I just tried to stay calm and do my job the best I could."
"Today was another match. I wasn't thinking about our other matches," Jankovic said. "I had the match in my hands but unfortunately it didn't go my way. As soon as you drop a little bit, she takes her opportunities and gets on top of you.
"She's playing as well as she used to, maybe better."
Awaiting Henin in the semifinals is Shahar Peer, who beat No.2 seed Dinara Safina, 63 62. Safina was playing her first tournament after a three month injury lay-off and won her first match back the night before, but had little left as she lost to Peer for the fourth straight time. Highlights: Peer vs. Safina
"It was a good start. I was 3-1 up with a chance to go 4-1 up. I didn't win that game, she won some points, I went a little bit down... I haven't played many matches, that's probably the cause," Safina said. "This was my first time playing points again so to win my first match here is already not a bad result."
"At the start I couldn't find my game, but then I started using the court more," Peer said. "I had it in my mind she hadn't played for a long time, but I knew she wouldn't give it to me. She won her match yesterday so I knew I had to win the match."
Henin and Peer have played each other only once previously on the Tour, with Henin winning their only previous encounter in straight sets.
With Jankovic and Safina out, the only other seed to take the court was No.7 seed Samantha Stosur, and unlike her peers she was not to be ousted. The Australian got past Li Na, conqueror of No.3 seed and defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova a round earlier, 63 63. Highlights: Stosur vs. Li
Stosur was phenomenal on the big points against Li, converting on all three of her break opportunities. She never faced a break point on her own serve: "Any match you can go through and not lose serve is a good day. I'm not sure what my percentage was but I saw at the end of the first set it was pretty hot. I knew I was doing the right things and I was able to continue that in the second set."
Stosur next faces qualifier Anna Lapushchenkova, who continued her run with a 76(1) 16 61 win over Lucie Safarova. Lapushchenkova had never won back-to-back matches at any Tour event before this week but has now won three to reach her first Tour semi. Highlights: Lapushchenkova vs. Safarova
Stosur and Lapushchenkova will be meeting for the very first time.