Henin injury ends Fed Cup hopes
18 September 2006, BRUSSELS — Italy won its first Fed Cup on Sunday when a knee injury forced Belgium's Justine Henin-Hardenne to retire hurt in the deciding rubber.
18 September 2006
BRUSSELS — Italy won its first Fed Cup on Sunday when a knee injury forced Belgium's Justine Henin-Hardenne to retire hurt in the deciding rubber.
The injury handed Italy a 3-2 win as Francesca Schiavone and Roberta Vinci defeated Henin-Hardenne and Kirsten Flipkens 3-6 6-2 2-0 retired in the decisive doubles match.
Henin-Hardenne said later "the pain in my knee was really too much", admitting that she was sad for the team and her hometown Charleroi spectators.
Earlier, she defeated Schiavone 6-4 7-5 to give Belgium a 2-1 lead, but even then it was obvious she was struggling with the injury.
But Mara Santangelo upset Kirsten Flipkens, a player ranked 65 places below her, to send it to a decider.
Italy's victory caps off a remarkable year. Twelve months ago it had to compete in a play-off with the Czech Republic to remain in the World Group.
It was Italy's first Fed Cup victory, in their first final. The Belgians were unable to add to their only other title in 2001.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news