- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 5, 2007

12:51 p.m.

PARIS — The jeers were brief in the French Open rematch between Serena Williams and Justine Henin. The result was the same.

Henin won again.

Keeping Williams on the move with her versatile shot making, three-time champion Henin advanced to the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-3 victory today.

The meeting was their first at Roland Garros since 2003, when a semifinal victory by Henin included boos for Williams and left a bitter aftertaste on both sides.

The lone jeers this time came when a frustrated Williams slammed her racket to the clay when she lost serve in the opening game of the second set. The boos quickly subsided, and though the crowd favored the French-speaking Henin, they applauded Williams when she left the court after the match.

No acrimony was evident between the players, either. While Williams offered only a perfunctory handshake following their match four years ago, this time when she dumped a forehand in the net on match point, she smiled as she and Henin engaged in a genial exchange at the net.

However, in her post-match news conference, Williams was reluctant to credit Henin.

“Nothing worked today. Sometimes you just have days like that,” Williams said. “All she had to do was show up.”

Williams, who had won her past 11 Grand Slam matches, was the lone remaining American in men’s or women’s singles.

Henin extended her Open-era record winning streak at Roland Garros to 31 consecutive sets. The Belgian is two rounds from becoming the first woman to win three consecutive French Open titles since Monica Seles from 1990 through 1992.

Henin’s opponent Thursday will be No. 4-seeded Jelena Jankovic, who beat No. 6 Nicole Vaidisova 6-3, 7-5.

The other semifinal will be between No. 2 Maria Sharapova and No. 7 Ana Ivanovic. Sharapova beat No. 9 Anna Chakvetadze 6-3, 6-4, and Ivanovic defeated 2006 runner-up Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-0, 3-6, 6-1.

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