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Page last updated at 12:25 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

Belgium's Justine Henin gets Sydney tennis wildcard

Justine Henin
Henin has won seven Grand Slam titles

Former world number one Justine Henin has been handed a wildcard for the Sydney International tournament which starts on 10 January.

The Sydney event will feature nine of the top 10 women players in the world.

"The women's draw is very impressive and it will be great to get some tough, competitive matches in before heading to Melbourne," said 27-year-old Henin.

Henin retired in May 2008 but announced a comeback in September and received a wildcard for the Australian Open.

The Belgian, who won seven Grand Slam titles between 2003 and 2007, will make the first tournament appearance of her comeback in the Brisbane International on January 3 before heading to Sydney.


Tournament director Craig Watson could not hide his delight to have Henin in the Sydney line-up.

"To have a wild card of Justine's calibre and quality in the field is very exciting and I am sure most of the top women will be wary of coming up against her," said Watson.

Henin has previously won the Sydney event in 2004, 2006 and 2008.

"She has always been a very popular figure in Sydney and as a three-time champion of the event, she will certainly be a crowd favourite in January," Watson added.

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see also
Henin seeks elusive Wimbledon win
06 Dec 09 |  Tennis
Henin confirms Brisbane comeback
21 Oct 09 |  Tennis
Clijsters rivalry inspires Henin
23 Sep 09 |  Tennis
Henin plans 2010 tennis comeback
22 Sep 09 |  Tennis
Henin announces shock retirement
14 May 08 |  Tennis
Justine Henin's career in photos
14 May 08 |  Tennis

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