Henin-Hardenne had a spectacular 2003 and arrives in Melbourne as the world number one.
World ranking: 1
Australian Open best:
2001: 4th round
The 21-year-old took advantage of the absent Williams sisters in the latter part of last year and eclipsed compatriot Kim Clijsters in the rankings and the Grand Slams.
And Henin-Hardenne proved she can take on the most powerful player in the game when she beat Serena Williams on her way to claiming the French Open title.
The US Open crown followed in September and a month later Henin-Hardenne hit the top of the rankings for the first time.
Her game has long been considered the most attractive on the circuit, with a backhand that rivals any on the men's side, but in 2003 she added the power that took her past Clijsters.
And while the pair shared four victories each in their encounters last year, Henin-Hardenne won the finals at Roland Garros and Flushing Meadows.