Henin Reaches Brisbane Final in First Event Back, Meets Clijsters
by Sean Randall | January 8th, 2010, 12:21 pm

While it didn’t work out in Doha for that dream Roger Federer v. Rafael Nadal final, Brisbane got theirs in the women’s field. Later tonight (or Saturday in Brisbane) Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters will lock up in a very intriguing title match. ADHEREL

Henin advanced after destroying Ana Ivanovic 6-3, 6-2 in 66 minutes. Clijsters also cruised, beating Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-2 and the showdown is set.

Henin and Clijsters have split their 20 previous WTA meetings, this being their first clash since Henin’s straight set win at 2006 Wimbledon.

Henin has also won three straight over Kimmy and eight of the last 11 in this rivalry. So despite not having played, she’ll have some confidence and a slight edge over Kim heading into the final.

“It’s always special when I play Kim. It’s a day I like a lot,” Henin said. “It’s a perfect situation to play if it’s a Belgian final. That’s what a lot of people hoped for and expected.”

Said Kim: “Knowing Justine, she’s not the kind of person who’s going to go with the flow, come out and see how things are going. I knew she’d come out here being extremely fit and ready to go from the first point that she played. And she has done that.”

I said in my preview that Henin’s going to need more matches to get her game and timing fully back. Obviously she’s looked good in reaching the final thus far, but this match is a big step up from Nadia Petrova, Melinda Czink and Ana Ivanovic.

A win here would really put her on that track for that No. 1 ranking, but I think Clijsters takes this one. The former “Aussie” Kim should be relaxed and the experience of having won the US Open last year I think helps her here.

Regardless, it’s an interesting match and a great way for the WTA to begin the New Year.

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31 Comments for Henin Reaches Brisbane Final in First Event Back, Meets Clijsters

jane Says:

This is quite the story! I can’t believe the two Belgians made the finals; well I can, but it’s still pretty wild. I agree with you Sean and lean towards picking Kim. But then again, with your prediction record, I suspect Henin will prevail ;)

The rest of the tour better sit up, pay attention, and step up. But either way, I am happy these two are back and that Serena will have solid competition. Yay!

huh Says:

Go Henin!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kimmi Says:

Yeeeeah..what a treat. this is great stuff. I watch both matches yesterday and I have to say both girls are playing very well. Its hard to pick.
jane, i agree with you..its amazing these girls came back and picked up exactly where they left off. Clijsters is a different player now, she is much stable mentally..she has shown us in the US Open. So I think its going to be tough for Henin this time..let the best win.

mary Says:

Poor Ana I hope she finds her way back.

Spain is playing England for the Hopman Cup final tonight.

Andy Says:

Yikes! First tourney back and she’s in the final? I shudder to think of what she’ll do in Melbourne.



sonic Says:

We just got out answer about Kim Clijsters future meeting with Henin…she will lose them all. I hope she can at least not choke in finals against other players.

from *4-1 up in the second set, relaxes for one game and then a total, complete and utter choke under preassure. Even if she comes back and wins the third set, you can see than when the chips will be down in big mathces (slams) Henin’s will will crush her.

Kind of sad, with her game she should win most matches vs Henin.

huh Says:

Unfortunate schooling of Ana at Henin’s hand, Henin must have cut her some slack at least as it’s pretty much my feeling that Henin is by far, much more superior to Ana, no matter which surface they’re playing on.

Kimmi Says:

OMG, Its high level tennis between Clijsters and hennin..are you guys watching it..I love it.

Kimmi Says:

Aaaah Kim won but NOT easy. Justine squandered 2 match points.

Great WTA tour tennis.

Justine should take a rest. No need to play sydney. just go to AO…

Gannu Says:

Clijsters won 7-6 in the third..
man women’s tennis is gonna be as interesting as men’s tennis

Williams sisters, Sharapova and the two belgians.. wat a rocking year..

sonic Says:

Thank god Kim won this, even if it was only thanks to Henin not b eing match though enough yet. Pretty sure Kim’s forehand on 3rd mp was in, that was ugly.

Don’t see Kim beating Justine in big matches, but perhaps this will give her some belief in smaller ones.

BTW Could everyone else smell the DF from Henin at 6:6 in the TB? I felt so certain after first serve, here comes double…

Great match thou, and i don’t usually watch WTA. But was intrigued by this, wo ke up at 5:3 in the first. A true classic, choking galore, bad clals, it had it all. A no kiss or hug at the net, you don’t see that often…Kim will usually kiss anyone, or at least hug. Guess Henin is just to damn ugly to touch.

osazone4real Says:

As a huge Kim fan I am in ecstacy but I would have to say kim is still haunted by Justine and I hope they dont play each other again as i dont like watching Kim falling apart.
Also Kim and Justine should cut the crap it is obvious that they dislike each other.

Kimmi Says:

What a speech from Kim..she made me cry. She has doneted her prize money to the Children hospital in Brisbane..

Kimmi Says:

Sonic..so Kim squandered a 4-1 lead in the 2nd set, to lose the set 4-6…not good. I started watching from 3-2 in the third. It was all high quality everywhere but justine..she could not close the match out (she has done that in the past) after leading 5-3 in the third set serving for the match. Very tense it was..I really enjoyed it.

Mr. Tennis Says:

Kim is a goddess. Justine is a god-MESS! Henin has beautiful tennis strokes but is just the most disingenuous monster on the WTA. She’s a 24 karat phony, and a cheater to boot (just ask Serena!)

I hope she never wins another SLAM, and Kim the goddess destroys her every time they meet on court.

sonic Says:

I can’t say that i enjoyed it untill it was over. Just can’t stand Henin since the grand theft at RG vs Serena, that was the poorest cheating ever. And then didn’t even apologize in the presser…i was indifierent about Serena and Henin before that match, but after it i became a Serena rooter while Hening bemace gargabe in my eyes. Every time i hear that disguasting French whining when she starts to speak it makes me want to vomit. And nice Allez shouting on on top of the lungs, even when opponents misses easy shots or gets unlicky (Kim overahead net-out in the third on break poin). She’s just an ugly annoying little bitch with no class.

There, that bit of rant is out of the system so back on to the match. It wasn’t fun to watch when Clijsters wheel came off, it’s really sad to see her in that helpless and lost state. Not like she didn’t have opportunities, break points in both of Henin’s last 2 service games in the second set, but choked it in the end.

Two match points for Henin, UE’s, 40:40, UE…Kim serving at 5:6, all bh UE from Henin to let her off the 0-15 hook. Tiebreak, 3 bh UE from Henin at the start(well maybe just 2) to get Kim going. And then even 5:1, 6:3 in the breaker is not enough for Kim. It was bloddy agony. It’s not like Kim has grown and has handeled the situation, it was Henin who blundered at every opportunity. Kim was so tight she coulnd’t hit a winner to save her life, she just defended and hoped…lukicly the errors came, but only due to Henin’s nerver which came out of lack of play for 2 years or so. Should they meet in AO, hard to hope for anything but Kim’s mind going blank again.

Well, at least we can anjoy this victory. To bad there’s no Federer/Nadal final to top it off.

Wow Fabrice playing AO. Guess being the 4 decade man doesm mean something to him after all :)

Hopefully Nadal finally wins a title and get some extra confidence back. The cold conditions should help him.

Kimmi Says:

I like Kim, I like her very much. She is the nicest person on the tour. But for some reason tonight I was rooting for Henin..I don’t know why. Maybe because the fact that she is coming back from retirement, wanted to see how she can fair up with top players. I tell you she is back. That match was the highest quality of top players out there. A little rusty in important moments but she is close to her best. Serena will not find it easy to collect GS again I tell you.

I also feel the movement of these two is much better than Serena. Of course Serena got the serve to back her up but it’s exciting for Women tennis.

Sonic..let it go. So Hennin cheat 5 years ago..She was probably young and inexperienced. it’s not like she has been cheating in every match she has played thereafter. She is a great champion and I am glad she is back. That BH is a joy to watch. And the movement on the court..wow..She is one of the best movers out there…

In the other tournament (Auckland WTA) the other Belgian wins. Yanina beats Pannetta 6-3, 6-2. Easy score right? This girl is showing great promise. But she is far from challenging, the Serena, Hennin, Kim of this world.

osazone4real Says:

And as usual when Kim plays Henin once again there were dubious call at match point 6-5 in the tie break clijsters hit a back hand on the line and it was called out luckily 4 d umpire it was not serena playing she would have recieved some 4 letter words n once again Henin knew it was a wrong call like in d French Open (if I am right) n she didnt have the decency to say so.

osazone4real Says:

That match is not classic it was Clijsters floundering as usual whenever she is playing henin 6-3 ,4-1 (2 breaks up) what was on Kims mind ah she will come back soon and when she did she looses 8 games in a row that is apalling to watch. it was henin who threw away the match, cos I have the feeling that she still has back problems n it affects her serve.

Kimmi Says:

Osazone, those dubious calls will always remain dubious. I though most tournaments will have Hawk Eye by now..But obviously I was wrong. To avoid those uncertainties just put Hawk Eye for god’s sake.

osazone4real Says:

Actually Kim should spare me the misery n go back to retirement bcos I cant bear watching these kind of matches or else she better beat Henin in a GS final if they meet(hopefully I have vented all my disappointment)

osazone4real Says:

Kimmi, I agree with you they should have Hawkeye in all WTA/ATP tournaments

Kimmi Says:

osazone:(hopefully I have vented all my disappointment) LOL :) You have.

osazone4real Says:

Uhmmm not completely as I have one final match to watch which hopefully will lift my spirit if my player wins

Kimmi Says:

I guess your player is nadal? I am a federer fan and will be behind davydenko on all cylinders. If davydenko beats nadal that will cancel out my dissapointment after the federer loss.

osazone4real Says:

Yep I Know u r a federer fan(old blogger on this site) although a reasonable one, i would say u should not b worried 4 fed he is concentrating on d big ones – although loosing in straights was strange. but y do u want davy to bt my boy after all fed lost to davy :-)

Kimmi Says:

I will be sincere with you..because nadal has beaten my boy too much, everytime he plays federer I lose hope for fed. So anyone who beats Nadal will come on top of my list. But I suprise myself cheering for Nadal to win some of his matches in WTF…maybe I am starting to like him afterall..

jane Says:

Congrats to Clijsters – missed the match but it sounds like a doozy. And how lovely of Kim to donate the money to the Children’s hospital. I saw pictures of her visiting children there. If I won the lottery, a lot of the money would go to sick kids.

It sounds like Henin lost the match in a way? Or no?

sar Says:

I heard Henin was saying “allez” to all Ana’s unforced errors.

Kimmi Says:

sar, what about ana making a fist pump after her opponents errors? You guys needs to let it go.

Skorocel Says:

Kimmi: What about Henin making a fist pump after Ivanovic sportingly admitted her serve was in? ;-) In case you don’t remember, that’s what happened after the penultimate point of their FO 2007 final… LOL Justine :-)

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