Henin joins Clijsters in Brisbane warm-up field
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:48
Justine Henin will play her first competitive tennis match since retiring in 2008 at the Brisbane International as she prepares for the Australian Open.
The former world No.1, who retired in 2007, turned down a lucrative invitation to play at the ASB Classic in Auckland and an exhibition event in Hong Kong to compete in Brisbane, where the surface is similar to the hard courts at Melbourne Park.
Henin joins compatriot and fellow comeback queen Kim Clijsters in the field for the January 3-10 event, along with former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Dokic, last year’s fairytale Australian Open quarter-finalist.
While there has been no comment from Tennis Australia, Brisbane International tournament organisers or Henin’s own camp, ASB Classic tournament director Brenda Perry admitted to being gutted after being informed of the Belgian’s decision.
“She has decided that her return to the tour will not happen here, so yeah, you have to say that’s disappointing news for us of course – we were very hopeful,” Perry said.
“But we also knew that her decision was going to about where she felt was in her best interest for her preparation for the Australian Open.”
But while one former world No.1 prepares to start the second chapter of her career, another has ruled out the possibility of returning to the game for a third time.
Martina Hingis today emphatically ruled out another comeback. The 29-year-old, who came out of retirement in 2006 was handed a two-year ban in January 2008 after testing positive for cocaine.
But despite being eligible to play again, Hingis is convinced that she is now done with tennis.
“No, no, no, sure,” the Swiss said when asked whether she planned a third coming. “You can’t just snap your fingers and say ‘let’s go and play the Australian Open’”.