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Henin overcomes Golovin to win Stuttgart title

STUTTGART, Germany, Oct 7 (Reuters) Justine Henin beat France's Tatiana Golovin 2-6 6-2 6-1 in the final of the Stuttgart Grand Prix to land her eighth title of the year today.

The Belgian world number one was overwhelmed by the power and accuracy of the unseeded Golovin's hitting in the first set but she gained the upper hand in the second and raced away with the third.

It was a 16th straight match victory for Henin since her defeat by another Frenchwoman, Marion Bartoli in the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

Since then she has won three tournaments -- Toronto, the U.S. Open and now Stuttgart.

For her first victory in Stuttgart -- she lost in 2001 and 2003 when it was still at its old Filderstadt home -- Henin got to choose between a first prize of 92,410 dollars or a Porsche 911 convertible.

''Can you give me a few minutes to think about it,'' was all the Belgian would say during the on-court ceremony.

For Golovin, it was a second straight defeat in the Stuttgart final, after she lost to Nadia Petrova last year.

Henin had predicted that the Frenchwoman would go for her shots in the final and so it proved, with the world number 19 throwing everything at the favourite from the off.

Henin was so rattled she missed with about the simplest of overheads in game six, popping the ball into the net to give up a breakpoint and compounding the error by serving a double-fault.

Golovin took the set with another break of serve and fought back to 1-1 after losing her own service at the start of the second.

Golovin continued to go for the lines but, as she tired, so she made more and more mistakes and Henin made the definitive break in game five.

The final set was one-sided, as Henin picked off her by now exhausted opponent with a series of stinging winners.


Story first published: Sunday, October 7, 2007, 20:34 [IST]
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