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Tennis: Serena crashes at Open.

Serena Williams had her every late mistake cheered by the Roland Garros crowd as she was knocked out of the French Open at the semi-final stage.

The defending champion suffered a shock 6-2 4-6 7-5 defeat to Justine Henin-Hardenne.

But Williams had to battle the jeers of spectators as well as the skill of her Belgian opponent as she was dumped from the clay court tournament in controversial fashion.

The world number one was consistently heckled and was even made to wait before delivering a second serve deep into the third set as the boos refused to subside.

"It was a very, very tough public out there but that is the story of my life," said Williams, who burst into tears at the post-match press conference.

"It's hard to fight against the whole crowd and it was not nice to hear the people applaud my mistakes."

Henin-Hardenne now faces Kim Clijsters in an all-Belgian final after her compatriot beat Russia's Nadia Petrova 7-5 6-1 in the other semi.

Juan Carlos Ferrero was due to take on Albert Costa in today's men's semi-finals.

Dutchman Martin Verkerk faces seventh seed Guillermo Coria in the remaining last-four match.
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Title Annotation:Sport Digest
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jun 6, 2003
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