9 Dec 2010

Henin to return to tennis in all Belgian showdown

6:19 am on 9 December 2010

The Belgian tennis star Justine Henin will make her return to the sport after a six-month spell on the sidelines in an exhibition match against compatriot Kim Clijsters.

The former world number one damaged ligaments in her right elbow at Wimbledon in June but her coach says she's now ready to play.

The match against Clijsters will take place at a gala event in the Belgian city of Anvers on Friday.

Henin, currently 12th in the WTA rankings, resumed training at the beginning of October with the aim of being fit for the start of the 2011 season.

She will begin the 2011 campaign at the Hopman Cup mixed international team tournament in Australia in January, when she is likely to team up with her countryman Ruben Bemelmans.

Henin, 28, made her return to competitive tennis last January after 18 months in retirement.

Her second career began well, as she reached the Australian Open final and won tournaments at Stuttgart and Rosmalen, before falling to Clijsters in the last 16 at Wimbledon.