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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tennis: Henin wins 1st title in return from retirement


NESHA STARCEVIC
AP Sports Writer

STUTTGART, Germany Justine Henin won her first title since coming out of retirement, defeating Samantha Stosur 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 Sunday in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix.

The former No. 1's victory on clay will give her a boost three weeks before the start of the French Open.

"It means a lot to me on clay," Henin said.

Four of Henin's seven Grand Slam titles have come at Roland Garros. Watching Roger Federer win the title last year inspired Henin to end her 18-month retirement.

"It brought back the fire," she said Sunday at the victory ceremony, after taking a brief ride in the Porsche sports car that goes to the winner.

Henin reached her third final since resuming her career in January. The Belgian player was runner-up in Brisbane and at the Australian Open.

Stosur, the seventh-seeded Australian, came into the final with an 11-match winning streak on clay. Henin also won in Stuttgart in 2007.

Henin had a lapse in the second set but otherwise controlled the big points against Stosur, who was a semifinalist last year at the French Open and since has compiled a 16-2 record on clay.

"It's very emotional to be back here because one year ago at this time I never expected to be back," Henin said. "It's been a fantastic week, everything was just perfect."

A wild-card entry, Henin will return to the top 20 when the latest rankings come out next week, and she may go as high as No. 18. Stosur is projected to move up two places to No. 8.

"Getting to the final was really good, it's been a great week," Stosur said. "She just got very aggressive in the third set, she put me under a lot of pressure and broke my serve three straight times."