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Henin seals French title hat-trick

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PARIS, France -- Justine Henin gave a clinical exhibition of claycourt tennis to win the French Open for the third successive time with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Serbian teenager Ana Ivanovic on Saturday.

It was the sixth grand slam victory for the world number one, who has taken the title at Roland Garros for four of the last five years.

Ivanovic, a surprise finalist after beating Maria Sharapova in the semifinals, broke the Belgian immediately and held a 40-0 advantage on her own service before Henin took control.

Henin did not drop a set throughout the second grand slam of the season on her way to winning one million euros ($1.34 million), the same as the men's winner.

She missed the Australian Open, won by her quarterfinal opponent Serena Williams, due to the breakup of her marriage.

"Everything went so well for me though I was tight at the start," said Henin.

"All my matches have been in straight sets and it is just majestic.

"It feels different this year because I have had some difficult moments (her divorce) this year but I have rediscovered my happiness and my family."

Ivanovic praised the Belgian.

"She's a great player and played a great match," said the 19-year-old who admitted that nerves got the better of her when she served at 1-0, 40-0 early in the final.

"I started OK but I got nervous in the second game and my ball toss went everywhere. I had no control over it.

"You have to be a great player to beat her."

It was Henin who initially showed the most nerves, dropping her opening service game with a double fault.

The 25-year-old took advantage of sloppy play by Ivanovic to break back immediately and after holding her own service took total control in the fourth game with another break as her seventh-seeded opponent double faulted.

After another break in the sixth game, Henin served for the set, wrapping it up with a service winner on the first set point.

A clumsy Ivanovic dropped serve again in the first game of the second set with another double fault.

The issue already looked beyond doubt at that stage, an impression that was confirmed when Henin managed another break in the fifth game.

Henin earned three match points but needed only one as she finished the match with a forehand volley after 65 minutes.


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Henin was detained on court for little over an hour.

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