Two—time finalist Justine Henin called upon her experience to get out of trouble in a shaky 6—3, 7—5 win over German Kristina Barrois for a place in the third round at Wimbledon on Wednesday.
The former number one Henin, who quit the sport at the top two years ago and returned in a change of heart at the start of 2010, remains in the hunt for the title a week after winning a grass trophy in the Netherlands.
But the cautious Henin, 27, who played Wimbledon finals in 2001 and 2006, said she cannot be counted as a title favourite. “I just see myself as an outsider this year, a year with ups and downs. I don’t know how I’m gonna deal at the very high level. It’s very hard to predict what could happen. “I really don’t see myself as one of the favorites. I hope Wimbledon will be a goal for me one day. It’s a dream at the moment.” Henin wasted a 5—2 lead in the second set but recovered to end the encounter in just under 90 minutes with a love game.
“I had a good reaction to the situations, that happened to me a lot in the past,” said the world number 16 Belgian.
“I was generally positive except these few games when I should have finished the match earlier. My shoulder was feeling better so I could serve better today.” Eighth—seeded compatriot Kim Clijsters, another comeback player who also reversed a retirement after having a child, eased past Croatian Karolina Sprem 6—3, 6—2.
Two—time semi—finalist Clijsters, who won the US Open last year only weeks after making her comeback, was joined as a winner by 11th seed Marion Bartoli.
The Frenchwoman advanced when Petra Martic retired before their match with a reported abdominal injury.
German Angelique Kerber scored a minor upset as she put out Israeli 13th seed Shahar Peer 3—6, 6—3, 6—4.
Second—seeded five—time winner Venus Williams was bidding for the third round against Russian Ekaterina Makarova while fourth seed Jelena Jankovic was playing Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak.
On the men’s side, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick were all in second—round action.