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Page last updated at 17:48 GMT, Sunday, 2 May 2010 18:48 UK

Justine Henin beats Sam Stosur to claim Stuttgart title

Justine Henin
Henin's first prize included a Porsche car from the event's sponsors

Justine Henin claimed her first title since coming out of retirement as she beat Sam Stosur 6-4 2-6 6-1 in the final of the Stuttgart Grand Prix.

Two breaks of serve in the second set had helped world number 10 Stosur to level the match at one set apiece.

But Henin, who returned in January after 18 months out, broke Stosur's serve three times in the decider.

"It's very emotional to be back here because one year ago at this time I never expected to be back," said Henin.

The win put the former world number one back in the world's top 20 ahead of her bid for a fifth title at the French Open, which begins on 23 May.


Henin's rivals at Roland Garros may also be worried by her admission that competing at the German indoor clay-court event had "brought back the fire".

"It's been a fantastic week, everything was just perfect," added the Belgian, who could rise as many as five places to number 18 in the world after her first final victory in three attempts since her comeback.

Stosur, who won the Family Circle Cup in South Africa to claim her first triumph on clay last month, began solidly and was largely untroubled on her serve.

However, when her service game wilted slightly in the fifth game of the first set, Belgian Henin pounced to break the Australian for a 3-2 lead. The 27-year-old never relinquished that advantage to close out the set 6-4.

But Stosur, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros last year, did not crumble and a break of serve in the sixth game of the second set saw her go 4-2 in front.

Samantha Stosur
Defeat ended Stosur's 11-match winning streak

Henin, runner-up in Brisbane and the Australian Open in January, was then broken again by the 26-year-old seventh seed as the match entered what promised to be an intriguing third set.

World number 10 Stosur, though, was overrun in the decider, and when she lost her serve to go 3-1 down the result was never in doubt.

"Getting to the final was really good, it's been a great week," reflected Stosur, who is expected to rise to number eight in the world.

"She just got very aggressive in the third set, she put me under a lot of pressure and broke my serve three straight times."

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see also
Henin eases into Stuttgart final
01 May 10 |  Tennis
Superb Henin through to last four
30 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Safina wins on return from injury
29 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Henin wins despite broken finger
28 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Clijsters a doubt for French Open
25 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Ankle injury forces Wozniacki out
17 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Stosur cruises to Circle Cup win
18 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Kuznetsova sets up Safina final
04 Jun 09 |  Tennis

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