BRISBANE: Justine Henin made a triumphant return to the women's tennis tour at the Brisbane International. Henin, playing her first match since May 2008, upset second seeded Russian Nadia Petrova 7-5, 7-5 in the first round of the season-opening tournament. The former World No 1 proved she can still be a force in the women's game as she showed all her steely determination to defeat Petrova.
Henin retired from tennis in May 2008 while ranked No 1 in the world. However, soon after compatriot Kim Clijsters won the 2009 US Open after making her own comeback, Henin announced that she too was coming out of retirement.
Serbia's Ana Ivanovic survived a big scare against Australia's Jelena Dokic before winning 7-5, 1-6, 6-3. The Serbian pin-up is desperate to recover from a disappointing 2009, which saw her slump to 22 in the world after a run of injuries and poor form. She will now play Swiss Timea Bacsinszky, a 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) winner over Russian Alla Kudryavtseva. There was a minor upset when Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat fifth seeded countrywoman Alisa Kleybanova 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.
On the men's draw, top seeded American Andy Roddick overpowered Peter Luczak of Australia 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 in the first round. Earlier defending champion Radek Stepanek demolished Australian wild card John Millman 6-4, 6-0. Richard Gasquet defeated Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. The only upset came when Colombia's Alejandro Falla beat seventh seeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-4. Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci beat Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 while Israel's Harel Levy thrashed Frenchman Michael Llodra 6-2, 6-0.