Henin Routs Kuznetsova to Net Second U.S. Open Title

Let those big-spending spectators or TV types gripe about Justine Henin's lopsided Grand Slam final victories.

She'll take 'em. Every last one.

Capping a dominant run, the top-seeded Henin overwhelmed No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-3 Saturday night to win her second U.S. Open title and seventh major championship overall.

Henin, who also won the 2003 Open, did not drop a set all tournament and became the first woman to win a Grand Slam after beating both Williams sisters along the way.

The only help Henin needed was when she got a boost from a couple of fans while she climbed into the stands to greet her coach after the match ended.

Kuznetsova matched the fewest number of games for an Open women's runner-up in the past 31 years.

It was reminiscent of some of Henin's past routs in major finals, including dropping three games to Ana Ivanovic while winning a third consecutive French Open title in June, and ceding two games to Mary Pierce at Roland Garros in 2005.

Oh, and let's not forget Henin's 6-4, 6-4 victory over Kuznetsova in 2006, also in Paris. That was part of Henin's 15-2 career record against Kuznetsova.

Still, don't think this was a completely unfair matchup from the get-go. Kuznetsova, after all, was the 2004 champion at Flushing Meadows and the Russian will move up to No. 2 in the rankings next week.

But that merely makes Henin's performance that much more impressive. She was simply spectacular, just as she was while getting past Serena Williams in the quarterfinals and Venus Williams in the semifinals.

In the men's final Sunday, No. 1 Roger Federer will meet No. 3 Novak Djokovic. Federer is aiming to become the first man since the 1920s to win the American Grand Slam four years in a row, while Djokovic will be playing in his first major final.

Federer beat No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 6-1, 7-5 in the semifinals Saturday, after Djokovic eliminated No. 15 David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

If it wasn't clear already, Henin has cemented her status as the No. 1 woman in the game today.

Just how good has she been in 2007? She won two majors and a tour-leading seven titles while going 50-4 at 11 tournaments.

Against Kuznetsova, Henin finished with a 25-11 edge in winners and saved all six break points she faced, including three in the final game.

She showed off all aspects of her versatile game, from volleys — winning the point on 13 of 16 trips to the net — to passing shots on the run to returns of serve, punctuating most with shouts of "Allez!"

Henin missed her trademark backhand on the match's first two points, then went to work, taking nine of the next 10 points while going up 4-0. Even when she faltered, double-faulting twice in a row at 3-0, she recovered to hold, throwing her 5-foot-5, 125-pound frame into a 110 mph service winner and a 98 mph second-serve ace.

Now that's gutsy.

In the next game, a fan perhaps hoping for something more competitive — or wishing an American were involved — yelled out, "Let's go, Venus!"

As CBS analyst Mary Carillo pointed out on-air to viewers, it's been 12 years since the U.S. Open women's final went three sets, adding: "We've had some real blowouts."