| Justine Henin-Hardenne celebrates the Swisscom Challenge title and her world No.1 ranking in Kloten on Sunday. (Reuters)
Zurich: Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne overtook compatriot Kim Clijsters as the women’s world No. 1 when she thumped Jelena Dokic 6-0, 6-4 in the final of the Swisscom Challenge on Sunday.
Henin-Hardenne was in a class of her own against world No. 25 Dokic, winning her eighth tournament in 17 this year.
The US and French Open champion missed out on the number one spot when she lost to Clijsters in the Filderstadt Grand Prix last weekend but made no mistake on Sunday to become the second Belgian to hold the top spot.
“It is just an amazing feeling,” she said. “Now I am number one in the world.. it is just amazing because I did everything I could and it is a real achievement.”
“I don’t realise right now that I am the 13th player on the WTA Tour to be number one. Tomorrow is going to be easier. Today I just tried to stay focussed on the match and whatever I had to do was working good.
“I served unbelievably, like I never have in the past. You could finally see today the work I did in the last few months on my serve and that is so important because you can win easy points and gain so much confidence.”
Dokic, who had shown much-improved form to defeat Clijsters in the semi-finals, lost her opening service game to 15 and earned just three more points in the set after that.
Henin-Hardenne wrapped up the set in 15 minutes, slamming down aces and dominating the net.
Dokic opened the second set by winning her first point in nine and went on to win the game with the help of a firm smash and some more confident groundstrokes.
She then took Henin-Hardenne to deuce and showed the battling qualities she had displayed in earlier rounds, but squandered three break-points and Henin-Hardenne held on to win the game with a crisp volley.
Two games went with serve but Dokic went 0-40 down in the next and after saving one break-point, she hit long to hand her opponent the crucial advantage.
Dokic’s nerves showed in her eight double-faults and first service success rate of just 54 per cent. “She served better than me and she was more solid than me,” said Dokic, who was in tears on court as she thanked her coach following a dismal slump over the past year.
“I was not there. I was too passive, I didn’t go for my shots. I just tried to make them and she took advantage of that,” she said.