Henin-Hardenne wins Family Circle Cup

Associated Press

Charleston, April 18:

Former No 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne showed she’s back in top form on Sunday, beating second-seeded Elena Dementieva 7-5, 6-4 to win the Family Circle Cup in her second tournament since returning from illness and injury. The Belgian, ranked No 43 by the WTA Tour, raised her racket high in the air and then pumped her fists after closing out Dementieva, ranked No 5. Henin-Hardenne spent most of last year ranked No 1, winning the Australian Open and gold at the Athens Olympics. But after the US Open, she suffered a viral illness and then a knee injury while practicing in late December. Her first match back was

last month’s Nasdaq-100 Open, where she made it to the quarter-finals. Henin-Hardenne, who will move up to No 22 in the rankings, became only the second unseeded player to win the Family Circle Cup in the $1.3 million tournament’s 32-year history. Iva Majoli did it three years ago. The champion, who takes home $189,000, also won her second Family Circle Cup title in as many appearances. Henin-Hardenne fell behind 5-3 in the first set before winning four straight games. In the second, she went up 4-1 before Dementieva battled back to tie it at 4-all. Dementieva, serving the next game, built a 40-15 lead but Henin-Hardenne broke her and then held serve in the next game to take the match.