Posted by Barrie on Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Justine Henin Safely Through to Second Round

The 22nd seed and four-time winner of Roland Garros, Justine Henin made a comfortable start to her French Open Grand Slam by defeating Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova in the opening match on the Philippe Chatrier court.

Both players held serve in their opening three service games and it was the Belgian who took the early advantage in the first set when she broke in game 7. Henin would see out the opening set and break in the opening game of set 2.

It wasn't all straightforward for the favourite after that as Pironkova would take 3 straight games to lead 3-2 and then force three straight break points on Henin's serve. From that point the Belgian, who hasn't dropped a set here since a fourth round match with Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2005, was in command of the tie.

Justine Henin would face another break point in game 8, but after holding it for a 5-3 lead, she would go on to break her opponent and win the match, 6-4 6-3 in just under an hour and a half.

Tsvetana Pironkova played some wonderful forehand winners in this match, but they were too few and far between to seriously challenge Justine Henin. Henin's backhand was magnificent at times, putting in a solid performance. A few slice winners were a joy to watch.

Justine Henin progresses into round two to face either Klara Zakopalova or Katarina Srebotnik in the second round.

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