Henin cruises into quarterfinals at Eastbourne

Updated: June 20, 2007, 1:36 PM ET
Associated Press

EASTBOURNE, England -- Defending champion Justine Henin beat Polish teenager Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-1 Wednesday at the Eastbourne International in her first match since winning the French Open.

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The top-ranked Belgian advanced to the quarterfinals of the grass-court warmup for Wimbledon by overpowering the 18-year-old Radwanska.

"I really had to be in the match on every point because she was pushing me a lot, and that's the kind of match you need for a first round," Henin said.

Defending Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo also won, beating Mara Santangelo of Italy 6-2, 6-3.

"I think she had some trouble reading my serve," said Mauresmo, who had 10 aces, including three on second serves. "I was trying to vary it a lot and it seemed to work out pretty well."

Also, third-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia defeated Nathalie Dechy of France 7-5, 7-5. The Frenchwoman served for the second set at 5-4 but double-faulted on break point.

Henin broke Radwanska to lead 2-1, but had to hit a backhand down the line to save a break point at 4-3.

In the second set, Henin needed four break points to lead 1-0, and again had to save a break point before holding for 2-0.

The six-time Grand Slam champion needed another three break points to take a 4-1 lead, before closing out the match with a break in the final game.

"There are still a lot of things to improve," Henin said. "I probably wasn't aggressive enough. I didn't play that much at the net, and that's the kind of thing I'm going to have to improve in the next few days. But that's why I'm here."

Fifth-seeded Nicole Vaidisova beat British qualifier Elena Baltacha 6-3, 6-2, and Sybille Bammer of Austria edged Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3. Safarova led 3-0 after breaking in the second game, but double-faulted to drop serve at 4-2.

Bammer dropped serve at 5-5 in the second set. She then won four straight games in the deciding set.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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