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Justine Henin continues comeback with win at Hopman Cup

Justine Henin
Henin is currently 12th in the world rankings

Justine Henin continued her comeback from injury by helping Belgium to a 3-0 victory over Kazakhstan in the Hopman Cup mixed team event in Australia.

The former world number one, who has missed six months with an elbow injury, beat Sesil Karatantcheva 6-4 6-3.

Ruben Bemelmans upset the higher-ranked Andrey Golubev 6-4 6-4 to give Belgium a 2-0 lead and the duo then won the mixed doubles 4-6 6-2 7-6 (10-8).

Belgium meet top seeds Serbia, who beat Australia, in their final Group A game.

Serbia stayed unbeaten as Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic swept aside Australia 3-0.

Ivanovic produced another impressive performance to beat Alicia Molik 6-4 6-0, despite suffering an injury scare in the second set when she appeared to over-extend her left knee.

"I was a little bit scared because I went a little bit low and felt a sharp pain in my knee," Ivanovic said. "So I thought I better check with the doctors and see what they think. I'm going to go and see them afterwards. But it feels fine."


Djokovic then comfortably overcame Lleyton Hewitt 6-2 6-4, saving four break points at 2-2 in the opening set before winning four games on the trot.

After each player was broken early in the second, Hewitt double-faulted twice at 4-5 to hand Djokovic the win.

"I played great, especially at the beginning of the second I was playing some of the best tennis I've played in the last year and a half," he said.

Djokovic and Ivanovic then teamed up to win the doubles 6-7 (5), 6-4 (10-6 in tie-breaker).

The Serbian duo now need to win only one of their three matches against Belgium on Thursday to reach Saturday's final.

Henin, who has won seven Grand Slam titles, eased through the first set and reeled off five straight games after trailing 1-3 to world number 140 Karatantcheva in the second set to wrap up victory.

"It's not that easy especially after the injury so I am working hard to come back," said Henin, who beat Australia's Alicia Molik in her opening match of the competition in Perth.

"It's the first two matches so I know it's going to take a bit of time but it's just great to have the opportunity to play a few matches and have competition again."

The winners of Group A will face the winners of Group B, comprising Great Britain, Italy, the United States and France, in the final.

The next matches on Wednesday see the US play Italy before Great Britain take on France.

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see also
Murray & Robson suffer Perth loss
03 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Serbia win opener at Hopman Cup
02 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Henin wins on competitive return
01 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Murray and Robson to join forces
12 Oct 10 |  Tennis

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