Kim Clijsters defeated Justine Henin in Henin’s first tournament after coming out of retirement, topping the former fellow No. 1 and fellow Belgian 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6), saving two match points to capture the title at the WTA stop in Brisbane.
Afterwards Henin said she injured her left upper leg midway through the third set, and has subsequently pulled out of Sydney next week.
“My leg was sore for the last few days and really got worse today in the third set and I hope it’s not that serious that I can recover soon,” she told the media. “But it would be a great, great mistake to go and play Sydney and I’m not going to play for a few days. It was very tight for a few days but it got worse and at the end of the third set, it’s no excuse and it’s not the reason why [I lost], I gave my best but I feel it can really get worse if I continue playing in the next few days.”
Clijsters led by a set and 4-1 before being forced to come back from 3-5 down in the third.
“I think we set the bar for pretty high for ourselves for the rest of the year but obviously it’s a great tournament to start off the year and a great match, so I couldn’t be happier with myself, but I would also like to congratulate Justine,” Clijsters told the crowd afterwards. “This is the first tournament that she’s back and she’s really played at a really high level.”
Henin won eight consecutive games from 1-4 down in the second set to go up 3-0 in the third, then Clijsters rallied bring their career head-to-head to 12-11 in favor of Henin.
Clijsters donated her $37,000 winner’s check to the Royal Brisbane Hospital children’s wing, which she visited before the tournament began.
“I feel pretty good,” Clijsters said. “I don’t have any serious injuries or anything, and now I have the luxury of a few days off to recover.”
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