Henin starts with win

Madrid, November 7:

Justine Henin began her title defense at the Sony Ericsson Championships with a 6-1, 7-6 (4) victory against Anna Chakvetadze on Tuesday.

The top-ranked Henin cruised through the first set then rallied to take the tiebreaker over the seventh-ranked Russian in the first match of round-robin play in the yellow group.

Maria Sharapova returned from a near three-week absence to beat Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 7-5 in the red group. Second-ranked Svetlana Kuznetsova continued to struggle at the championships and against Ana Ivanovic, who won her third straight over the second-ranked Russian 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in the other red group match.