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Henin tastes first home triumph

  • Story Highlights
  • Justine Henin wins her first title in her native Belgium
  • She claims the Diamond Games event in Antwerp.
  • Henin beats unseeded Italian Karin Knapp 6-3 6-3
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ANTWERP, Belgium -- Justine Henin won her first title in her own country when she lifted the Diamond Games trophy in Antwerp on Sunday.

Henin wrapped up her first home title victory in 90 minutes.

The top seed was too good for Italian challenger Karin Knapp, winning the final 6-3 6-3 in 90 minutes.

A full house of more than 15,000 enjoyed the success of their world number one at an event which has been removed from the women's calendar from 2009.

Henin, beaten in the Australian Open quarterfinals a month ago by Maria Sharapova had little difficulty against the number 47 Italian playing in her first final. Knapp, aged 20, has yet to beat a Top Ten player.

"It's so great to win at home in Belgium," said Henin. "That was really my goal this week and I'm so happy I was able to do it. I've had tough matches but came through. This is a very emotional moment for me."

The straightforward victory was a welcome change for Henin in a week which had provided her with some stiff challenges.

Henin broke twice for a 5-2 lead in the first set but dropped serve in the eighth game as Knapp kept the contest alive, 3-5.

Henin took the opener after 40 minutes on her third opportunity as Knapp put an approach into the net. In the second set, Henin broke for 4-2 and closed out victory on her first match point.

It was the 41st title of Henin's which includes seven grand slam trophies.

Henin has now won ten finals in a row, last tasting defeat against Serena Williams in Miami in April last year.

The Belgian's two previous appearances in Antwerp ended with defeat in the 2002 final and 2003 semifinal.

She will next play in Dubai in a week after pulling out of next week's required WTA event in Doha, which will cost her at least $125,000 in year-end bonus pool money. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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