Agencies

Paris, June 2:

Justine Henin-Hardenne made Nadia Petrova her third straight Russian victim at Roland Garros

on Thursday. A day after her 23rd birthday, Henin-Hardenne celebrated with a 6-2, 6-3 victory

over Petrova in the French Open semi-finals for her 23rd straight win on clay. Henin-Hardenne, the 10th seed from Belgium and the 2003 French Open champion, saved a pair of match points against sixth seed and reigning US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round on Monday before routing second seed and 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova a day later 6-4, 6-2. On Thursday, Henin-Hardenne needed just 68 minutes to dispose of the seventh-seeded Petrova, who lost in the French Open semi-finals to Kim Clijsters of Belgium in 2003. Since returning from various injuries, Henin-Hardenne is 26-1 this season with three titles. One of those titles came at Berlin three weeks ago when she beat Petrova in the final. Henin-Hardenne is now 7-1 lifetime against Petrova, with the lone loss coming in the fourth round of last year’s US Open. In the other semi-final showdown, France’s No 21 Mary Pierce, a crowd favourite who won the French Open in 2000, routed the 16th-seeded Russian Elena Likhovtseva 6-1, 6-1.