Top-seeded Henin Breezes into Fourth Round, Sans Spotlight

While the star-powered Sisters Act, Venus and Serena Williams, are drawing larger crowds and more media attention at the U.S. Open, Justine Henin, with hardhat efficiency, keeps rolling along… On Friday, the top seeded 25-year-old Belgian, dispatched Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova 6-0, 6-2 in 60 minutes. Henin has lost only nine games in three matches.

You have to work hard every day,’’ she said. “Even if it looks pretty easy for you guys outside of the court, I think you have to do the job the best you can. In a Grand Slam you have to be strong, win seven matches. I just wish it could keep going this way.”

Henin will face No. 15 Dinara Safina Sunday in the fourth round.
“I just try to do my best, no matter who I play,” she said. “I’m going to have a good test in two days. It’s the way you build a lot of good things. Just go match after match. So we’ll see.”

Safina, who is 0-3 against Henin, earned a fourth meeting with the Belgian by ousting Ahsha Rolle, a 22-year-old from Miami Shores, Fla. A wild card entry, ranked No. 109, Rolle, became a crowd favorite, upsetting No. 17 Tatiana Golovin 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 in the first round and rallying to beat Italy’s Karin Knapp 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the second round.

“All those fans were so out there for me,” said Rolle, who was taught by former pro Lori McNeil.”(They were) screaming my name. It was amazing. I’ll never forget this experience.”

Rolle added $43,000 for reaching the third round, but also believes her results gave her the mental and emotional boost needed to reach the next level.

“I’ll finally be top 100, I’ve been trying to get that all year,” she said. “It just gives me confidence to know I can play with the top players, beat them. I’m just going to go back and work even harder, get even better.”

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