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Henin-Hardenne wins Australian Open

  |   Jan. 31, 2004 at 9:57 AM
MELBOURNE, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Justine Henin-Hardenne won the Australian Open for her third Grand Slam title Saturday, once again over longtime rival Kim Clijsters.

That was a fight today," Henin-Hardenne said after her 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win.

Henin-Hardenne, 21, also has won the French and U.S. opens. All three championship match victories have come over fellow Belgian Clijsters.

The champion added her name to an elite list of women to hold three of the four major titles at the same time in the Open Era (since 1968). She joined Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis and Serena Williams.

Clijsters would have replaced Henin-Hardenne as the world's top-ranked player had she won Saturday.

In men's doubles, the defending champion French team of Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro won the title again, defeating top-seeded American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

Switzerland's Roger Federer and Russian Marat Safin play Sunday for the men's singles title.

© 2004 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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