Lawn Tennis - Italy Wins Fed Cup Final As Henin-Hardenne Injured
Lawn Tennis
Lawn Tennis Fed Cup by BNP Paribas
Final - Belgium vs Italy
September 16-17, 2006
Lawn Tennis
Italy Wins Fed Cup Final As Henin-Hardenne Injured
By Anton Lagani, Lawn Tennis Correspondent
Monday, September 18, 2006

Justine Henin-Hardenne Fed Cup 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 6-4 7-5.

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."

Italy def. Belgium 3-2
R1 Francesca Schiavone(ITA) def. Kirsten Flipkens(BEL) 6-1 6-3
R2 Justine Henin-Hardenne(BEL) def. F.Pennaetta(ITA) 6-4 7-5
R3 Justine Henin-Hardenne(BEL) def. Francesca Schiavone(ITA) 6-4 7-5
R4 Maria Santangelo(ITA) def. Kirsten Flipkens(BEL) 6-7, 6-3, 6-0
R5 Francesca Schiavone and Roberta Vinci(ITA) def. Henin-Hardenne and Kirsten Flipkens(BEL) 3-6, 6-2, 2-0 ret.

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