Henin sad her triumphant season is almost over

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MADRID, Nov 10 (Reuters) Rather than looking forward to a well deserved rest, world number one Justine Henin said she will be sad to see the season come to an end when she meets Maria Sharapova in the final of the WTA Championships tomorrow.

''I just want to enjoy this moment,'' the Belgian said after a thrilling 6-4 6-4 semi-final win over Ana Ivanovic kept her on course for a successful defence of her title.

''I'm a bit sad the season is almost over because I have a lot of good memories so it's mixed feelings for me.'' Henin, who won grand slam titles at Roland Garros and the US Open as she scooped a career-high nine tour victories this year, has not lost a match since her shock semi-final defeat by Marion Bartoli at Wimbledon.

''There have been a lot of emotions this year... good ones, bad ones. My win in the French Open with my family being there was very important, my loss at Wimbledon was pretty painful but it helped me to build something better and that helped me win the US Open. So that was quite significant for me.'' WINNING STREAK If Henin beats Sharapova she will extend her winning streak to 25 matches and become the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1989 to go unbeaten in the second half of the season after Wimbledon.

''It's an extra motivation,'' said Henin. ''I'm going to play to win my second championships tomorrow and to try and win one more match after winning 24 in a row.'' World number four Ivanovic was pleased to put up more of a fight than when she was trounced 6-1 6-2 by Henin in the French Open final.

''It was a very tough match and I wish I could have played more consistently, but I never gave up until the last point,'' the Serb told a news conference.

''At the end of the day, she is a great player and I gave her a tough match. I played much better than last time against her so that was positive.

''She is much more consistent than any of the other top players and makes very few errors. Even if she misses something she always comes back and plays the big points well. That is something I have to work on.'' Reuters SBA VP0200

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