Stosur ready for Henin

AAP – Sam Stosur must not only overcome claycourt supremo Justine Henin but a hostile Roland Garros crowd in her crunch fourth round match at the French Open.The mighty Belgian booked the clash, which is likely to be played on Monday, following her tense 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory over Russian Maria Sharapova in Sunday’s rain-delayed centre court encounter.

The win stretched the feisty baseliner’s unbeaten streak at Roland Garros to 25 matches and she has not been defeated at the tournament since 2004.

Henin has long been a crowd favourite in Paris, having won the title three times in a row between 2005 and 2007 before missing the 2008 and 2009 editions during her premature retirement.

Stosur said she felt perfectly prepared to take on the 22nd seed even if Henin is having a ball in her return to Paris.

“I think I am ready to play,” she said.

“I have had three good matches and you have to be ready to play them at any stage.

“I am looking forward to it.”

Henin demonstrated her resilience against Sharapova by recovering from 0-2 and 0-40 down on serve in the final set to eventually dismiss the three-time major winner.

Stosur and Henin have only met once before with the Belgian winning the final of the WTA event in Stuttgart in three sets earlier this month.

“I definitely picked up a few things that she keeps doing throughout the whole match which I am going to have to be aware of, even if I have the momentum,” said Stosur

“I have to be aware that she will keep on swinging and go for it, if anything I have to raise my level a bit.”

Stosur, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros last year, felt she was finding her groove at the right time after blowing away Russian qualifier Anastasia Pivovarova 6-3 6-2.

The Queenslander was at her methodical best in the 62-minute victory, landing 77 per cent of her first serves in an encouraging sign before taking on the persistent Henin.

The 26-year-old Australian rated it her best performance of the tournament.

“It is going to be exciting and these are the matches that you look forward to,” she said.

“These are the matches, you want to play champions and I have to expect a very tough match.

“But I still have to go in believing I can win and believe in my ability and think I have a chance.”

Stosur has not met a top 100 player in Paris yet but her form line can’t be questioned.

She has won 17 of 19 matches on clay and is playing with real belief following her breakthrough run here last year.

Stosur said she knew exactly what to expect from the likes of Henin.

“They can come back from the brink of defeat, you definitely have not won a match until you have won that match point,” she said.

  • Drine

    Forget the hostile crowd, just play your game, keep focused and everything will be fine ;)
    The Smash'em Sam Family wants a revenge !!!!
    SMASH HER SAMMY !!!!!!! :))

  • steve

    stosur is the best

  • ai

    Best of luck next round against Henin !
    It's your turn to win :)
    Go Sam !!

  • Sten

    To become a champion,need a win other champion! And i believe,You can do it Sammy! Just play in YOUR GAME!!!

    SMASH'EM SAM!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ben

    Justine has a glorious past in Paris … Sam Stosur has a glorious future to come !
    I hope you'll crush her to spend as little time as possible on the court !
    Play your game Sammy ! Just play your game !!!
    U'r the best

  • Julie

    I'm belgian… but…. COME ON SAM !!!! You're the best and you will win ! =D You can do it !
    Come on Sam !

  • Ameli

    Sam, play your heart out in the match against Henin!
    I was expecting to see you both in the final.
    Best of luck!

  • tommy

    OOO tough dbles match against vania+misa. Rain delay did wonders it seems 1-4 down to win 6-4. Gd luck against henin and also the bondarenkos. Got sick of the rain so had to retreat home, otherwise would be there :o)

  • ozguynyc

    YOU CAN BEAT HENIN!!! Just remember how you played against Vera in Charleston. You are more than capable of humbling Henin. As for revenge, remember the Aussie Open 2006 and what Henin did to Amelie in the final by retiring and not allowing Amelie to celebrate. Get her Sammy! Get her for what she the disrespect she showed the Aussie Open!!!

  • TimZ

    Hey Sammy,

    good luck for tomorrow!!! Revenge for Stuttgart! ;-)
    You are the best anyway! =))

    Greetings,
    Tim

  • julie

    Like Flag, I hope you can block out the crowd, you have a beautiful game to watch. Good Luck. Julie

  • Bruce

    Good luck for your next match Sam. Justine is not unbeatable and I cannot wait to see how you go against her. Your fans love you whether you win or lose so you have us on your side forever!

  • Nicole

    Good luck against Justine! You can do it :) You’ve got the talent to do it, just believe in yourself! We all do :)
    The Smash’em Sam Family will be cheering you on !! :)
    GOOOOO SAM!

  • Nicole

    Good luck against Justine! You can do it :) You’ve got the talent to do it, just believe in yourself! We all do :)
    The Smash’em Sam Family will be cheering you on !! :)
    GOOOOO SAM!

  • Marco Rosa

    Dear Sam,

    Congratulations on your fenomenal forehand! Please forget the sunglasses… your eyes are just too beautiful! All the best for your career

  • Pieretto

    Wow! Now I hope you’ll win the tournament.

  • cindy sweeney

    Bravo girl u were awesome All the way ausieaussieaussie

  • Sally

    Wow!!! A-MAZ-ING!!! Congrats Sam on a fantastic win against Henin!!! You owned it!!! Enjoy celebrating!!! :D

  • Bronwyn

    Congratulations Sam, on beating Henin…..fabulous match!!!
    best wishes for the rest of the tournament from a fellow Australian living in France.

  • Ximena

    Great victory….. great match, stay strong, believe in yourself
    Love it

  • Anonymous

    my heart aches at how beautiful you played against henin!

  • lohan

    YES!!! SHE BEAT HENNIN!!!!!!!

  • luc

    Great match against Justine!!! from a Belgian fan

  • Laura

    Congrats Sam, you played a great match and good luck for the next one..:)

  • Ian Upton

    Absolutely awesome Sam!! Wonderful performance from you against Justine and I’m positive you can beat Serena. Believe!! I’m English as well by the way, but I was so impressed by your performance!!

    Ian Upton

  • Rich

    I just finished watching the match and it was great watching you persevere and win! Great job Sam.

  • Gabi USA

    YOU BEAT HENIN! you are awesome. and my favorite tennis pro:)

  • BrisGal

    Great job Sam – you held your nerve. Serena next! Awesome work.

  • Gabri

    Bravo Sam. I’m french and I’m really happy for you with your match against Henin. You are fantastic. Good luck in the next round, you can do it.

  • Sunsets

    SAMMMMMM! Those last few points were horrible for the fans as we were so nervous. No doubt you were nervous as well and it is amazing how far you’ve gone since Sydney last year. You held your nerve and again proved to people that you DESERVE to be in the top 10. Absolutely amazing, Sam. Good luck against Serena. Always remember – the Smash ’em Sam family is proud of you

  • jack

    CONGRATS SAMMY! Biggest win of your career.

  • Dagmar Wunderlich

    Wonderful game Sam!!! Keep it up and you can win Roland Garros! It was worth taking the afternoon off here in Europe to watch the game against Justine Henin!
    Congratulations! I’m proud to see an Aussie “making it” again at long last!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Sam, I just wanted to congratulate you on an amazing game and victory over Justine, you deserve it, and you played brilliantly. You’ve certainly got the talent and ability to go all the way, and i HOPE you can, believe in yourself and your ability, Australia is and should be very proud of you, WELL DONE CHAMP : ) Peter G

  • Ernest

    YEAAAAAAAAH!!!! Fantastic, Sam! Love your tennis! Oh, and your eyes, so thanks for not wearing your glasses today. Go, go, go, Sammy! You can win the French! Greetings from BCN.

  • Paul – london

    Brilliant Sam – I had a funny feeling you would do it. – Wasnt worried after you lost the 1st set you seem to grow into matches. At 3-4 in the final set she went up 0-30 but I guess she p#ssed u off wiv her allez’s and that was that ha ha. She is definitely a bit flaky if she goes behind, she looks at her coach after every point for reassurance. But like you know you have to keep yr head because she starts hitting out more.. – Serena is not invincible either – you can do a number on her as well.. – looking forward to it… Best

  • marina

    Congratulations, Sammy!!

  • Chinnyaus

    Hey Sammy Fantastic job getting past Henin… Bring on Serena – good luck

  • Paul

    Greta win – fantastic! Well done, Sam – great win against Henin. Must have been sweet after listening to all those “Allez”s!!
    Very well played and go for it against Williams, you’ve got the game just hold on to that belief :-) Paul

  • Henrik Scheel

    Hi Sam
    congratulations. What a great victory today. It was nice to see you playing without your sunglasses today. looking forward to see you beating Serena. I
    Greetings from a Danish fan
    Henrik Scheel

  • Jamie Carter

    Congrates Sam!!! On beating Justine. Now for Serna. Love ya style. Best of Luck for your next mission

  • Adelus

    Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You're my idol!
    What a match my god!!!!!
    hihaaaaaaa!

  • henrik scheel

    Hi Sam
    Congratulations. What a victory, today. It was nice to see you playing without sunglasses today. Loking forward to see you beating Serena.
    Greetings from a danish fan.

  • Alan Coles aka toppspnn

    Sam… what a great demonstration of fucus against Henin in the 3rd set. i am so proud of your effort and now it on to Serena…. Youre on your way now!!!!!

  • Halima

    Hello Samantha,

    I really like the way your playing tennis. You never gives up…I hope you win the Fr Open ..Good Luck.

  • pete84

    Hi Sam, I just wanted to congratulate you on an amazing game and victory over Justine, you deserve it, and you played brilliantly. You've certainly got the talent and ability to go all the way, and i HOPE you can, believe in yourself and your ability, Australia is and should be very proud of you, WELL DONE CHAMP : ) Peter G

  • Sandra

    Congrats Sam! Have to say I was torn in this match…fan of both you and Justine but great match and happy about the outcome. Saw you play (in person) at Wimbledon in '06 and have been a fan since. Good luck against Serena…you'll do great!

  • Graham

    Great stuff Sammy. You are the new Claycourt Queen !
    It doesn't matter who you play now….you know you can win.

  • Alan Coles aka toppspnn

    WooooooooHoooooo! Awesome Sammmmmy!!!! great win today over Serena and an even better display of keeping your focus in this match. Youre gonna win this slam baby……

  • Alan Coles aka toppspnn

    Samantha.. great win over Jankovic… now its on to the final and Best of Luck to you. We will watch with great anticipation of your quest for your first Grand Slam title. We know there will be others too but the first one is always so special!!!!!!! You go baby!!!!!! See you for sure at Indian Wells in 2011

  • Alan Coles aka toppspnn

    Tough match Sam… but you fought the great fight and as far as I'm concerned youre also the winner at RG. Your draw was far tougher and you made the final.. Congrats and on to Wimbledon for another great run.