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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 April, 2005, 20:48 GMT 21:48 UK
Comeback title for Henin-Hardenne
Justine Henin-Hardenne
Justine Henin-Hardenne won her first title since last August by beating Elena Dementieva to lift the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.

The former world number one defeated Dementieva 7-5 6-4 in just her second start of 2005 following a six-month lay-off because of illness and injury.

Henin-Hardenne battled back from a 3-5 deficit in the opening set and won eight of the next nine games.

It was the Belgian's first title since last year's Athens Olympics.

However, it was her first title on the regular WTA Tour circuit since winning at Indian Wells in March of 2004.

I've won 20 tournaments but this is very special
Justine Henin-Hardenne

Henin-Hardenne's 2004 season started with victory in the Australian Open but unravelled as she was hampered by a viral illness.

After her Olympic triumph she was ousted in the fourth round of the US Open and did not play for the rest of the year.

Her hopes of defending her Australian Open crown were dashed in January when she injured her knee.

She returned to action at Key Biscayne in March and admitted it was a massive relief to finally get back to title-winning form.

"I never thought I could win this tournament," she said.

"At 4-3 I felt the pressure but I'm happy I kept fighting at 4-4 and that I could break her was very important.
"I've won 20 tournaments but this is very special. Last year was very bad and I'm proud of what I've done here."

Meanwhile, Dementieva felt her failure to take her chances cost her the title.

"I think it was a great match, I just missed some opportunities in the opening set when I was 5-3," she said.

"I didn't take a risk and was maybe not as aggressive as I was earlier. I also missed a good chance to lead 5-4 in the second set, I was 40-15 up.

"Maybe it was just a bit of luck here and there but I feel she deserved it."





SEE ALSO
Venus crashes out in Charleston
15 Apr 05 |  Tennis
Vaidisova battles past Myskina
14 Apr 05 |  Tennis
Dementieva secures easy victory
13 Apr 05 |  Tennis


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