It was billed as a match worthy of a semi-final, the promoters were oh so wrong. The match never even went to a third set, but if you ask any of the 15,000 fans packed into Rod Laver Arena, they may not even have noticed. It lasted a record 2 hours and 50 minutes, two set matches don't go that long. The ladies played 209 points in 24 games, that means on an average every game went to deuce. It had 34 break points created, an average of almost 3 every 2 games. It witnessed 66 un-returnable shots and that's just the maths of it.
WhenÂ Justine Henin finally lifted her arms in triumph you were compelled to raise yours too. Not to salute one, but two women who made tennis a very special sport tonight, carrying it to levels very rarely witnessed of late. Henin, a seven time Grand Slam champion and a winner here in Melbourne Park in 2004, was in just her second tournament after a self-imposed 20 month hiatus. At the other end of the court stood the reigning Olympic champion and no.5 seedÂ Elena Dementieva. Dementieva incidentally was a winner at Sydney last week where she had beaten both the current world no.1 Serena Williams and no.2 Dinara Safina without even batting an eyelid. This match should never have really happened in the second round, but the fans who bought their tickets to be in the Arena today witnessed one of the greatest contests of all time.