Sharapova ends Henin’s streak

Maria Sharapova produced a magnificent display of clean hitting to thrash world No. 1 Justine Henin 6-4 6-0 in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The Russian came out flying to break in the second game and though Henin pulled it back in game nine, a fantastic cross-court backhand won her the set.

Sharapova then waltzed through the second with a succession of winners to end Henin’s 32-match winning run.

The fifth seed will now take on Jelena Jankovic in the last four on Thursday.

It is the fourth year running she has reached that stage and few will back against her going all the way after a quite awesome performance which left her Belgian opponent in a daze.

Right from the start she thundered powerful groundstrokes to the corners, leaving Henin struggling to stay in rallies.

The top seed has not been at her best in Melbourne and that lack of fluency was ruthlessly exposed.

Sharapova had lost six of their eight previous meetings but a seventh never looked likely as she smashed 30 winners to take the opening set.

It was one-way traffic in the second, with Henin suffering her first 6-0 rout since the 2002 French Open and first defeat since Wimbledon.