BRUSSELS, October 8 – Belgium's world number one Justine Henin is set to make her return from retirement in Brisbane, her coach Carlos Rodriguez said Wednesday.
Henin is to choose between Brisbane, starting on January 3, and the WTA event in Auckland, starting January 4, as the seven-time Grand Slam winner embarks on her second career.
"It is Justine who will decide. It will probably be Brisbane," thew Belga news agency quoted Rodriguez as saying.
Henin, 27, could well cross the path of compatriot and fellow ex-retiree Kim Clijsters in Australia. Clijsters came back having had a baby amid a three-year sabbatical and promptly won the US Open.
According to Rodriguez, "Justine will head off at the end of October for Orlando (Florida) for a couple of weeks of tough physical training" as she bids to get back into top shape.
Despite her greater honours record, the Belgian media last month portrayed Henin unfavourably compared with the bubbly Clijsters owing to the former’s cool, demeanour.
Henin lost her mother to cancer at a young age and broke off contact with her family for seven years, building a shell around herself during her career which she never managed to shake off during her retirement despite her work with sick children and frequent television appearances.
She won a total of 41 WTA Tour titles and held the world No.1 spot for 117 non-consecutive weeks, the ranking she had when she retired on May 14, 2008, citing a succession of injuries and a desire to live a life away from tennis.