Lawn Tennis - Italy Wins Fed Cup Final As Henin-Hardenne Injured
Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final - Belgium vs Italy
September 16-17, 2006
Italy Wins Fed Cup Final As Henin-Hardenne Injured
By Anton Lagani, Lawn Tennis Correspondent
Monday, September 18, 2006
After Saturday's play in the Fed Cup final at Charleroi, Belgium, Italy and Belgium stood tied 1-1 as Francesca Schiavone of
Italy defeated Kirsten Flipkensof Belgium 6-1 6-3, and Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium defeated Flavia Pennaetta of Italy
In match one Sunday, Henin-Hardenne beat Francesca Schiavone 6-4 7-5. Italian substitute Maria Santangelo defeated
Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens 6-7, 6-3, 6-0 in match two. Henin-Hardenne and fellow teammate Kim Clijsters both watched
from the sidelines as Belgium's 2-1 lead was lost as the score became 2-2 when Flipken's lost. Henin-Hardenne left the court
to prepare for the doubles match which would be the decider. Henin-Hardenne and Flipkens trailed Schiavone and Roberta
Vinci of Italy 6-3, 2-6, 0-2 in the doubles match before Henin-Hardenne retired with a knee injury after falling on the court
and taking an injury timeout but failing to recover.
It was the injuries from Belgium as well as four strong players from Italy which spelled the defeat of Belgium. Kim Clijsters
was earlier forced to withdraw from Belgium's team due to a lingering wrist injury. Henin-Hardenne was facing fatigue, an eye
irritation, back and knee pain already before the doubles match. "I could not stay on court for another point," Henin who reached
the final of all four grand slams said. "It was like a ball blasted me at the back of the knee."
Henin, the French Open champion and currently ranked number two, most likely will rest her body for a few weeks before
beginning her quest to close out the WTA Rankings for this year as the number one player in the world. "I had given it my all
in the singles and I didn't have enough left for the doubles," Henin-Hardenne said. "It was difficult. I have to turn the page now
and take care of myself because this injury is serious."