SPORT

Gold for Henin-Hardenne

ATHENS, AUG. 21. Justine Henin-Hardenne won the women's singles gold beating second-seeded Amelie Mauresmo of France 6-3, 6-3 in just over an hour and 15 minutes here on Saturday night.

The victory after an entertaining exhibition of power-play from both the sides, also helped the Belgian world No.1 to even her record against Mauresmo at 3-3, and stop the American domination, after the last three singles gold medals had been won by Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams.

Fernando Gonzalez beat Taylor Dent of the United States 6-4, 2-6, 16-14 in three hours and 25 minutes for the men's singles bronze medal.

It was a prelude to the Chile-U.S. final between Nicolas Massu and Mardy Fish scheduled for Sunday, and the 24-year-old Fernandez unleashed spectacular passing shots and walked the tightrope with great dexterity, saving matchpoints along the way in a nerve-wracking third set, to emerge triumphant.

The 23-year-old American, with his fluent serve and volley game, saved a matchpoint in the ninth game of the decider to push the Chilean to his wit's end. The third set lasted a minute more than two hours, and Gonzalez won one point more than his opponent at 165-164.

Molik wins bronze

Alicia Molik of Australia captured the bronze medal in the women's singles, as she beat the third-seeded Anastasia Myskina of Russia, 6-3, 6-4.

"It was a pretty special moment, because if I came out the loser, I wouldn't have much to remember the Olympics. My bronze will be something that I'm going to cherish for the rest of my life,'' said Molik.

For Myskina it was difficult to come back and play again after having squandered a 5-1 lead in the third set in the semifinals against Justine Henin-Hardenne.

"I wasn't able to recover because I think I gave everything last night.

"Emotionally I was drained. It was very difficult to play in those conditions. I don't have any gas left. I couldn't find my motivation,'' Myskina said.

In the women's doubles bronze medal match, Paola Suarez and Patricia Tarabini beat the fifth-seeded Shinobu Asagoe and Ai Sugiyama of Japan 6-3, 6-3.— Kamesh Srinivasan