By J. Fred Sidhu
Indian Wells, CA. Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium are both ranked number one in their respective tennis tours and last Sunday they showed why they are the best in the world as they both won singles titles at the Pacific Life Open in impressive fashion.
With temperatures reaching 106 degrees at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Federer played a near perfect match as he defeated Great Britain’s Tim Henman, 6-3, 6-3 in one-hour and six-minutes. The victory marked Federer’s third title of the year and 14th career ATP title. It was only the second time he had defeated Henman in eight career meetings.
“I thought I’ve showed a few times that I played well against the top players,” said Federer, who defeated Andre Agassi in a three-set semifinal match the day before.
The Swiss tennis star was in control of the match from start to finish as he committed just five unforced errors while hitting 12 winners. He also broke Henman three times and did not face a single break point on his serve.
Earlier that day, Belgium’s Justine Henin-Hardenne won the Pacific Life Open women’s title by defeating Lindsay Davenport of Laguna Beach, 6-1, 6-4.
The 21-year-old Belgian did not drop a set on her way to the title as she improved her singles record in 2004 to 22-1.
“It was important for me to start the match pretty good,” Henin-Hardenne said. “I broke her the first game of the match. Even if I wasn’t serving well, I was feeling that my game was almost perfect at this point of the match.”
Following her victory, Henin-Hardenne was award- ed a check for $332,000 which pushed her earnings in 2004 to over $1 million, making her the fastest woman in professional tennis history to earn $1 million in prize money during a season.
In the women’s doubles final, the veteran pair of Paola Suarez of Argentina and Spain’s Virginia Ruano Pascual defeated Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Likhovtseva, 6-1, 6-2, to win their first Pacific Life Open title.
Suarez and Ruano Pascual, who have now won 22 career doubles titles together, have become one of the most successful doubles teams in the world. They have reached the doubles finals of the last eight Grand Slam events.
2004 Pacific Life Open Results
Men’s Singles Championship
Roger Federer, Switzerland, defeated Tim Henman, Great Britain, 6-3, 6-3
Men’s Doubles Championship
Arnaud Clement and Seb-astien Grosjean, France, defeated Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett, Zimbabwe, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5
Women’s Singles Championship
Justine Henin-Hardenne, Belgium, defeated Lindsay Davenport, United States, 6-1, 6-4
Women’s Doubles Championship
Paola Suarez, Argentina, and Virginia Ruano Pascual, Spain, defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Likhovtseva, Russia, 6-1, 6-2