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01-05-2010, 01:43 AM #1
Justine Henin To Begin Return To Tennis In Sydney
Justine Henin confirmed on Monday that she would make her tennis comeback at Sydney's Medibank International. The four-time French Open champion will join a field headed by world number one Serena Williams.
The three-time champion at Olympic Park was awarded a wild card for the WTA event, which begins on January 10 and serves as a tune-up for the Australian Open starting a week later.
Nine of the women ranked in the world top 10 entered although the fitness situation is dicey for 2009 finalist Dinara Safina, who pulled out from the Brisbane event the week before with long-term back pain.
Henin in her statement said,"I have a lot of happy memories of Sydney, so I'm looking forward to returning in January as part of my preparation for the Australian Open. The draw is very impressive.”
"It will be great to get some tough, competitive matches before heading to Melbourne."
Henin had taken an unexpected retirement in May 2008, saying she felt burned out. She had won the Sydney event in 2004, 2006 and 2008.The 27-year-old stood atop the rankings for 117 non-consecutive weeks and won seven Grand Slam singles titles, including the Australian Open in 2004.
The others in fray include Svetlana Kuznetsova, Dane Caroline Wozniacki and holder Elena Dementieva. The men's line-up comprises of Lleyton Hewitt, Gael Monfils, Tomas Berdych and Marcos Baghdatis.