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Justine Henin v Sania Mirza – Australian Open live preview

Henin stunned everyone with a run to the final last year
Justine Henin takes on Sania Mirza in the first round of the 2011 Australian Open.

Henin has spent most of the past few weeks steadily talking down her chances over the next fortnight. However do not be fooled. The former champion is well aware this is one of the most open majors in recent years and with no one actively grabbing the favourite tag, Henin has as good a chance as anyone.

She says it will take another six months before she's back to peak condition but she was striking the ball pretty fluently at the Hopman Cup a couple of weeks ago, taking out a string of opponents (including Ana Ivanovic) in straight sets.

Twelve months ago no one knew what to expect from Henin. Returning after a 19 month hiatus from tennis, few expected much but the seven time Grand Slam champion swept aside a succession of quality opponents and it took Serena Williams to stop her in the final.

Mirza was once ranked high enough to be seeded at this tournament but the Indian currently languishes at 145 in the rankings. She battled through the qualifying, dropping just one set but she is too one-dimensional to trouble Henin. Mirza has always reaped the benefits of a huge forehand but that's not enough against the top players and her game was eventually found out.    


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Justine Henin v Sania Mirza – Australian Open live preview

Justine Henin takes on Sania Mirza in the first round of the 2011 Australian Open

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