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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 January 2007, 06:59 GMT
Henin withdraws from Aussie Open
Justine Henin-Hardenne
Henin reached all four 2006 Grand Slam finals and won in France
World number one Justine Henin-Hardenne has withdrawn from the first Grand Slam of the year, this month's Australian Open, for personal reasons.

The Belgian's decision also means she will not defend her title at next week's Sydney International.

"I have to withdraw from the Australian tournaments for family reasons," Henin-Hardenne, who won the 2004 Australian Open, said in a statement.

"I want to thank you for respecting my choices and my private life."

Henin-Hardenne reached all four Grand Slam finals last season but won only the Paris title.

French defending champion Amelie Mauresmo will now lead the women's field at the Australian Open, which begins on 15 January.



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