AUSTRALIAN OPEN Henin defeats Clijsters

It was her third Grand Slam title and third straight over Kim Clijsters.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Justine Henin-Hardenne won her third Grand Slam title and extended her dominance in major finals against Kim Clijsters with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win in today's Australian Open women's title match.
Henin-Hardenne consistently beat Clijsters with one-fisted backhand shots, extending her unbeaten streak against her fellow Belgian to three Grand Slam finals. The victory assured Henin-Hardenne of keeping her No. 1 ranking.
"It was really emotional, both of us were really nervous," Henin-Hardenne said. "I have three Grand Slam titles now, it's wonderful."
Dominates Clijsters
Henin-Hardenne, who beat Clijsters to win the French Open and U.S. Open titles last year, broke in the second and fourth games of the deciding set.
Clijsters broke back at 1-4, held and then got back on serve with a backhand winner down the line.
She had two game points while trying to level the set at 4-4, but double-faulted both times.
Clijsters sent a backhand volley out to give Henin-Hardenne a break point and then smacked a swinging forehand that was originally called good at the baseline, before chair umpire Sandra De Jenken of France overruled and called it out after Henin-Hardenne complained.
Television replays appeared to show the ball barely catching the line.
Match winning serve
Henin-Hardenne, serving at 5-3, closed it out in 1 hour, 47 minutes with an ace on her first serve.
She spun her racket in the air and slumped to her knees, crouching with both hands over her face. She stood up and raised both arms in the air before meeting and kissing Clijsters at the net.
She walked back onto the court with both arms raised triumphantly. Both women were in the Australian Open final for the first time and it was Henin-Hardenne's third major title in the last four Grand Slams. Wimbledon now stands as the only major title she hasn't won.
"I want to congratulate Kim for a wonderful tournament," Henin-Hardenne said. "She wasn't sure she could play and she did and she fought a lot, so congratulations for this unbelievable tournament."
Bothered by injury
Clijsters injured her left ankle at the Hopman Cup three weeks ago and was questionable for Melbourne Park. She was bothered by the ankle in two previous matches, but showed no signs of pain in the final.
"I think she played a great final and in the end she was too good, so well done," said Clijsters, who is 0-4 in Grand Slam finals. "This has been an incredible two weeks for me, 21/2 weeks ago I didn't think I'd be able to play."
Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne have been friends since junior tournaments. They have split 18 matches on tour, but Henin-Hardenne leads 3-2 in Grand Slam matches and 3-0 in finals at majors.
Henin-Hardenne appeared to be in complete control after taking the first set 6-3 and going up 4-2 in the second. But Clijsters ran off the next four games to take the second set 6-4, the first Henin-Hardenne dropped in the tournament. The opening set was the first Clijsters had lost in the tournament.
As the fiancee of Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, Clijsters clearly had the packed center-court crowd behind her.
She was first on court after every changeover. Henin-Hardenne spent as much time as possible in the shade behind the baseline, slowing down her opponent's momentum.
Henin-Hardenne pulled ahead 4-2 in the second set as Clijsters, serving at deuce, hit a backhand crosscourt wide to set up break point. Henin-Hardenne then nailed a backhand pass down the line.
But Clijsters broke back in the next game. Henin-Hardenne, who hadn't yielded more than two points in her service games, hit a backhand into the net to give Clijsters two break points at 15-40. She saved one with her second ace, then dumped a drop shot into the net.
In the men's doubles final, defending champions Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro of France were against top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan.