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Tenaciously Tennis


Justine, the Latest Comeback Queen?

Posted in Justine Henin,Kim Clijsters,Nadia Petrova,Sesil Karantancheva by Ben on January 4, 2010

Well, with her excellent performance today in Australia’s Brisbane tournament against the second-seeded, Nadia Petrova, who is currently ranked twenty in the world, it certainly looks so for Justine Henin.

It was a thrilling, and well-fought match for both players, but the seven-time Grand Slam champion made it through to the second round quite convincingly with a nicely improved, although erratic, first serve. It’s interesting to note that while Henin made only 47% of her first serves, according to the match’s official statistics, when her first serve did get in, she was almost unbeatable, winning 90% of the points.

Yes, Petrova is not the most difficult of first-round opponents, but the win will no doubt give the 27 year old Belgian confidence going into her second-round match against the qualifier, Sesil Karantancheva of Kazakhstan, who is making a comeback of her own. In my opinion, Henin will continue with an easy win in the next round.

And after seeing her play, I couldn’t help but recognize (and applaud) the efforts Henin has made with her physical and mental game over the past twenty months. Her graceful one-handed backhand looked particularly beautiful, and was a welcome sight with all of two-handers out there these days. The poise Henin had in her pre-match interview was also noteworthy, and it seems that she has truly grown as a person, too.

My prediction: Henin will win easily in the next few rounds to meet WTA’s other comeback queen, the 2009 US Open champion and her compatriot Kim Clijsters in the finals.

Brisbane Tournament’s Official Site

Article on Justine’s Brisbane Win

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