Henin shines as Belgium sweep Kazakhstan

The former world number one, the Belgian Justine Henin, has continued her comeback from a six-month injury absence in style as Belgium beat Kazakhstan 3-0 at the Hopman Cup mixed team event in Perth Western Australia. Henin saw off Sesil Karatantcheva in two sets 6-4 6-3 to put Belgium, while Ruben Bemelmans upset the much higher-ranked Andrey Golubev 6-4 6-4. The Belgians then won their mixed doubles match 4-6 6-2 10-8.

The win has kept alive kept alive Belgium's hopes of qualifying for Saturday's final as winners of Group A.

However, our country’s tennis players will still have to beat top seeds Serbia in their remaining group match to stand a chance of reaching the final.

 

Still a little rusty

In what was just her second match suffering a serious elbow injury at last summer’s Wimbledon tournament, Henin was still a little rusty but had too much experience and nous for world number 140 Karatantcheva.

Having only arrived in Perth late on Monday as a replacement for the injured Yaraoslava Shvedova, Karatantcheva did an admirable job and had Henin worried when she broke to lead 3-1 in the second set.

But the seven-time grand-slam champion regained her composure to reel off five straight games to clinch victory, before joining Bemelmans to win an entertaining doubles.
 

“I’m working hard to come back”

Speaking after her victory Justin Henin told journalists that "It's not that easy especially after the injury so I am working hard to come back," Henin said.

"It's the first two matches so I know it's going to take a bit of time but it's just great to have the opportunity to play a few matches and have competition again."