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Tennis-Henin puts Belgium in Fed Cup last four

Written by: Staff

LIEGE, Belgium, Apr 23 (Reuters) Justine Henin-Hardenne today put Belgium into the Fed Cup semi-finals with a 6-2 6-0 victory over Russia's Elena Dementieva.

The French Open champion's victory in the second singles match of the day gave Belgium an unbeatable 3-1 lead over the defending champions and a semi-final date with the United States in July.

Henin-Hardenne's second win, after her three-set victory over Nadia Petrova yesterday, reduced today's remaining doubles match to insignificance.

Russia had been aiming to win the Fed Cup for the third year in succession. Belgium beat them in the 2001 final.

The teams ended yesterday at 1-1 and the home side took the lead today when world number two Kim Clijsters returned to winning ways by crushing Maria Kirilenko 6-1 6-4.

Clijsters got over her yesterday shock defeat to Dementieva by racing through today's first set in less than 20 minutes. The U.S.

Open champion proved too strong for Kirilenko, ranked 20 places below her, and took the second set in similar style.

Kirilenko was a late call-up to replace Petrova whose epic battle with Henin-Hardenne, which she lost 7-6 4-6 3-6, took its toll.

Reuters SHB DB2215

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