Henin confirms tour return in Brisbane, Australia
BRISBANE, Australia (AP)—Former No. 1-ranked player Justine Henin has confirmed she’ll make her return to the WTA Tour at the Brisbane International two weeks ahead of her comeback to Grand Slam tennis at the Australian Open.
“After a 15-month absence I am pleased to begin my second tennis career at the Brisbane International,” Henin, a seven-time major winner, said in a statement Wednesday. “It will be great to get back to playing competitive tennis again and with the strong field, the same court surface and a similar climate to Melbourne, it will be the perfect preparation leading into the Australian Open.”
Fellow Belgian comeback player Kim Clijsters is also in the women’s draw, along with former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic.
Despite having a No. 1 ranking when she retired in May last year, the 27-year-old Henin does not have a protected ranking. She has been granted wild-card entries for the main draws at Brisbane and the Australian Open.
Henin announced shortly after Clijsters won the U.S. Open in September. Clijsters came back from two years in retirement and became the first mother since Australia’s Evonne Goolagong Cawley at Wimbledon in 1980 to win a Grand Slam singles championship.
The 27-year-old Henin has 41 WTA Tour titles, an Olympic gold medal and has won three of the four majors. She said her goal is to earn a Wimbledon title, the only Grand Slam singles event she hasn’t won. She plans to play at least until the 2012 London Olympics.