Henin battles to beat Kournikova

Twelfth-ranked Anna Kournikova lost to 70th-ranked Justine Henin of Belgium 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 in the first round of the Advanta Championships in Villanova, Pennsylvania on Tuesday night.

Twelfth-ranked Anna Kournikova lost to 70th-ranked Justine Henin of Belgium 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 in the first round of the Advanta Championships in Villanova, Pennsylvania on Tuesday night.

Kournikova struggled throughout with her serve, failing to hold serve four times in the second set.

"I didn't think I could win," Henin, 17, said. "I thought I could play a good match, but I don't have the experience."

In a 51-minute first set, Henin rallied from double set point to win the tiebreaker. Henin broke serve at 3-3 as Kournikova double-faulted twice. Kournikova double-faulted at game point in the second game of the second set, allowing Henin to rally from 0-40 for a break to tie the set 1-1.

Kournikova appeared to win the fourth game, but the baseline judge ruled a return by Henin did not cross the line.

Kournikova, the crowd favorite from the outset, was visibly frustrated with several calls.

In other action, American Chanda Rubin defeated Israel's Anna Smashnova 6-4, 6-4. The victory sends the 24th-ranked Rubin against top-ranked Martina Hingis in a second-round matchup. Rubin defeated Hingis in straight sets earlier this year.

"I've played good against her," Rubin said. "I've had some chances against her. You have to play the best."

Against Smashnova, Rubin broke serve to win the second set.

"I definitely didn't want to take it to a third set," Rubin said. "It felt good to make it through the first round. I felt going in, on this surface, I had an advantage."

Also Tuesday, Amy Frazier beat fellow American Marissa Irvin 6-1, 6-2; Dominique Van Roost of Belgium beat Russian Elena Likhovtseva 6-1, 6-2; and Sandrine Testud of France beat American qualifier Jill Craybas 7-6 (6-4), 6-2.

After splitting the first two games in the second set, Van Roost broke serve to take a 2-1 lead and broke again to make it 5-2.

The 19th-ranked Likhovtseva advanced to the second round of the Advanta tournament last year before losing to Germany's Steffi Graf, the eventual champion.

Singles First Round

Amy Frazier, United States, def. Marissa Irvin, United States, 6-1, 6-2.Dominique Van Roost, Belgium, def. Elena Likhovtseva, Russia, 6-1, 6-2.Chanda Rubin, United States, def. Anna Smashnova, Israel, 6-4, 6-4.Sandrine Testud, France, def. Jill Craybas, United States, 7-6 (6-4), 6-2.Justine Henin, Belgium, def. Anna Kournikova, Russia, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4.Daniela Bedanova, Czech Republic, def. Cara Black, Zimbabwe, 6-3, 7-5.

Doubles First Round

Lisa Raymond, United States, and Rennae Stubbs, Australia, def. Amy Frazier and Katie Schlukebir, United States, 6-2, 5-7, 7-5.Amanda Coetzer, South Africa, and Elena Likhovtseva, Russia, def. Surina DeBeer, South Africa, and Nana Miyagi, Japan, 7-5, 6-2.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there