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Justine Henin advances to quarter-finals in Brisbane

Justine Henin
Henin is playing her first official tournament in 20 months

Justine Henin continued her comeback from retirement with a straight-sets victory over Sesil Karatantcheva at the Brisbane International.

Henin, playing in her first official tournament in 20 months, cruised to a 6-4 6-3 win to advance to the quarter-finals against Hungary's Melinda Czink.

Top seed Andy Roddick also progressed with a 7-6 (7-0) 6-3 second-round win over Australian Carsten Ball.

Meanwhile, James Blake beat Frenchman Marc Gicquel 6-3 3-6 7-6 (10-8).

"I was not going to let him beat me. You play your best when you have that clear mindset," said American Blake, who also won his first round match in three sets.


"I would prefer to win in two and two but it is good to get some tough match-ups in the lead-up to a Grand Slam."

Czech Radek Stepanek survived a close shave before beating Ukrainian qualifier Oleksandr Dolgopolov Jr 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 to keep alive his Brisbane title defence.

In the women's event, Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova brushed aside the challenge of Hungary's Agnes Szavay 6-3 6-1, while Czech Lucie Safarova disposed of Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak 6-3 6-1 to join top seed Kim Clijsters in the last eight.

Clijsters, who won last year's US Open after making a comeback of her own, cannot meet Henin until the final.

Henin, 27, dropped her opening service game and made a shaky start before overcoming her service problems to progress.

The Belgian attributed her shaky start to the humidity and her first night match in a long time.

"I'm glad to play matches to find rhythm, that's a very good thing," she said.

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see also
Clijsters eyes rematch with Henin
05 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Henin registers comeback victory
04 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Curtains up for new season
09 Jan 10 |  Tennis
New Year's resolution
30 Dec 09 |  Tennis
Henin confirms Brisbane comeback
21 Oct 09 |  Tennis
Henin announces shock retirement
14 May 08 |  Tennis

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