Belgian Justine Henin was pushed to the limit by 20-year-old compatriot Yanina Wickmayer. I'm glad she was. It is a sign of hope- you wouldn't want to see people coming back from hiatuses winning championships easily. The 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-3 scoreline wasn't a very heartening one for fans hoping to see Henin crush her less experienced rival.
That said, I hope Henin wins the Australian Open. She really deserves to- and I'd like her to win the rest of the Grand Slam titles as well, this year. Wishful thinking? Perhaps.
Today's match was an opportunity to see the fighter in Henin come to the fore- a real resurgence. With Kim Clijsters already out of the tournament, Henin is the lone Belgian in the draw. She faces Nadia Petrova in the quarter-finals, and it sure is going to be an interesting match. For some reason, though, I fear more for Henin when she's playing the less-experienced girls, than when pitted against the established ones. Remember when she unexpectedly lost to Marion Bartoli at Wimbledon 2007? She squandered what was perhaps her best chance at the most coveted Grand Slam title, the only one that she is yet to win. Winning the Australian Open should definitely give her the confidence and the rhythm that she needs for the year ahead; her monopoly over the French Open notwithstanding, the Grand Old Lady of Wimbledon is the tournament her fans would love to see her win.