Mats Wilander reporting from Melbourne. Justine Henin vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova was the match of day and the only match that involved two Grand Slam champions. Neither in their prime but certainly with a few years left in their respective careers. Both of them still looking to add to their collection of major wins. Henin has been suffering from a sore right arm for a while and it looked like it was at times very painful, especially whilst hitting a forehand. Kuznetsova came out on top with a 6-3, 7-6 victory having saved a set point in the 2nd set. Kuznetsova played the best match she’s played in a long time and she looks mentally and physically ready to start the 2nd half of her tennis career. Even though she’s ranked outside the top 10, she’s still one of the best players on the WTA tour and someone who knows how to win major championships. Justine Henin on the other hand needs to rededicate herself to the sport and stay injury free for at least a year so she can build some confidence and get back to the top of the game where she belongs. On the mens side, Stanislas Wawrinka beat Gail Monfils in three straight sets 7-6, 6-2, 6-3. Wawrinka was a little bit lucky to win the first set after Monfils had been the better player. But to what expense? You can’t “empty your gas tank” in an hour and 35 minutes, which is what Monfils did and does to often in the 3-5 set Grand Slams. Surely Wawrinka knew that and even if he loses the first, there is no way Monfils was going to “sprint” to the finish line. Monfils needs to change the way he plays and become more aggressive, otherwise he will never win a “big” one..Defending is his strength but it’s not enough in todays game, so he has go against his nature or settle as a “non threat’ in the majors! All the best, Mats Wilander.
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