Justine Henin a doubt for Australian comeback

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
The former world number one will return to action next year (Photo: Glenn Thomas)

Former world number one Justine Henin (Photo: Glenn Thomas)

Justine Henin may be forced to wait to make her Grand Slam comeback after picking up an injury that forced her out of the International Sydney event this week.

Last Saturday, Kim Clijsters overcame her compatriot Henin in a thrilling climax to the Brisbane International tournament.

Clijsters eventually ran out 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 winner after a pulsating final which could have finished in favour of either of the Belgians.

The spectacle enticed an intrigued audience as the pair renewed rivalries after they had both taken extended breaks from the game.

Clijsters had raced into an early lead, taking the first set and seizing the initiative in the second. At 4-1 ahead, she failed to close out the match and Henin stormed back to take five consecutive games to force the tie into a deciding third set.

Henin continued to dominate the third and squandered a match point at 5-4. Clijsters fought back and eventually won an enthralling third set tie-break.

However Henin has now been dealt an injury blow and has been forced to pull out of the International Sydney event commencing this week. The former world number one picked up the injury during the final against Clijsters.

“I’m very disappointed that I can’t play the Medibank International Sydney, which I like a lot,” Henin said.

“Unfortunately with my injury today I need to take a rest and won’t be able to play for a couple of days. I’m sorry for the fans who are expecting to see me there. I hope to be there next year.”

Subsequently, Henin is now an injury doubt for the Australian Open which begins in a couple of weeks as she is suffering from a left gluteal strain.

Henin will be looking to emulate Clijsters’ sensational return to the game last August when she stormed to the final of the US Open, winning the final in straights sets against Caroline Wozniacki.

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