Henin wins Dubai Open

Dubai, February 26:

Justine Henin-Hardenne beat Maria Sharapova 7-5, 6-2 in the final of the Dubai Open on Saturday.

Henin-Hardenne, twice champion in Dubai and unbeaten here in 12 consecutive matches, secured her 25th career WTA singles title and second of the year after her victory in Sydney.

Showing no signs of the shoulder injury that has plagued her in 2005, Henin put up a brilliant display, mixing her powerful forehands with backhand winners. Both players started strongly, holding their serves until the score read 4-3 in Sharapova’s favour. The Russian missed two break opportunities, but converted the third to go 5-3 up. Henin fought back strongly and Sharapova started making several unforced errors.

ABN Amro

ROTTERDAM: Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic beat Christophe Rochus 6-0, 6-3 on Sunday to win his first ATP tour title at the ABN Amro tournament. Stepanek, dubbed the “dark horse” of the event by tournament director Richard Krajicek, needed just 45 minutes to dispatch the Belgian and take home the first trophy of his 10-year professional career.