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.

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