Seven-time Grand Slam champion Justin Henin advanced to the final of her first tournament since coming back from a 20-month retirement, thanks to an easy straight set semifinal victory over former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic. Henin's opponent in the final of the Brisbane Invitational will be a familiar one: fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters, who herself made a comeback during the latter part of the 2009 season and beat Andrea Petkovic on Friday to advance.
The pair have combined for nine Grand Slam victories and were the two dominant forces in women's tennis seven years ago, when they had a stretch of playing in three of four Grand Slam finals. Henin won each time:
2003 French Open: Henin def. Clijsters, 6-0, 6-4
2003 U.S. Open: Henin def. Clijsters, 7-5, 6-1
2004 Australian Open: Henin def. Clijsters, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
The two have played 22 times in all, with Henin holding a 12-10 lead. But it's Clijsters who has been installed as the overwhelming pre-match favorite thanks to her success at the end of last year, including the stunning victory at the U.S. Open. Because of that though, Clijsters should know better than anybody that Henin can't be counted out simply because the comeback has just begun.
- Justin Henin