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Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters reach Brisbane final

Justin Henin (left) and Kim Clijsters
The Belgian pair have nine Grand Slams between them

Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters will meet in a battle of the comeback queens at the Brisbane International event.

Both are former world number ones and Henin, playing her first event since May 2008, crushed Serbia's Ana Ivanovic 6-3 6-2 in a little more than an hour.

Clijsters, who made her own return from retirement to win last year's US Open, had a similarly comfortable win against Germany's Andrea Petkovic 6-4 6-2.

The Belgian duo have met 22 times, with Henin holding a 12-10 advantage.

Playing her fourth match in five days, Henin proved her fitness levels were in excellent order and showed a glimpse of the form that saw her win seven Grand Slam titles.

"It's a perfect situation for me as I'm in the final of my first tournament, it's a great feeling," she said after her victory on the Pat Rafter centre court.

Clijsters looked at one stage to be in for a more difficult afternoon when locked at 4-4 with Petkovic in the opening set, but proceeded to win the next six games and took complete control of the contest.

606: DEBATE

Looking ahead to Saturday's final, which will be her first match with Henin since the 2006 Wimbledon semi-finals, she said: "I don't think anyone around the world expected to see this again.

"I look forward to it. Back to the old days. We grew up playing under-12s and sharing rooms together and we have history together."

Henin, meanwhile, remarked that her relationship with her compatriot had always been cordial and said: "There is so much respect between the two of us so, I know sometimes people would love to hear there have been problems between us but that's not the case.

"We are so different but we have good memories. When we were younger we were travelling a lot together... but after that we grew up differently and went in different directions."

I am not retiring from Davis Cup but I am not going to be one of those guys who plays when it is convenient

Andy Roddick

In the men's competition Czech Tomas Berdych edged out Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 7-6 2-6 7-6 to join defending champion Radek Stepanek and Gael Monfils in Saturday's semi-finals.

Top seed Andy Roddick booked his place in the last four with a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) success against Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

Roddick revealed that he would not be playing the in the Davis Cup this year in an attempt to maintain his fitness, with a knee injury cutting short his 2009 season.

"Sometimes you have to listen to your body and do what is smart even though it is not an easy decision in the short term," said the 27-year-old, who has been a regular member of the team for almost a decade.

"I am not retiring from Davis Cup but I am not going to be one of those guys who plays when it is convenient, when it is close to home and on a good surface for them.

"In Davis Cup my view is that you decide at the beginning of the year whether you are going to go through everything or not."



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see also
Henin reaches Brisbane semi-final
07 Jan 10 |  Tennis
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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