Justine Henin defeated Samantha Stosur 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 on Sunday to claim the Porsche Grand Prix tennis title, the first for the Belgium since she came out of retirement in January and a big boost ahead of the French Open.
Henin triumphed in 1 hour 40 minutes on her first match point for her second Stuttgart crown, the first being the last time the Belgian played at the event, in 2007.
“This is a great experience, especially on clay. It was a great week,” said Henin.
The 27-year-old received 107,000 dollars (80,000 euros) and a Porsche sports car, the seventh-seeded Australian Stosur took home 56,000 dollars.
Both finalists were wildcard entries at the 700,000-dollar indoor clay tournament.
It was the 42nd career title for Henin and her first since Antwerp in February 2008.
Henin retired as world number one in May 2008 and returned this year. She made the finals in Brisbane and the Australian Open but lost to Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams, respectively. Stuttgart was her fifth tournament since returning.
The victory will also give her a big boost for the French Open, which she has won four times: 2003 and 2005—2007. This year’s edition at Roland Garros starts in three weeks.
“I thought about a comeback when I saw Roger Federer win the French Open (for the first time last year). This brought back the fire,” she said.
Stosur, 26, was unbeaten on clay this season with an 11-0 record and a Charleston title two weeks ago. But on Sunday Henin was simply too strong and won the last six games from 1-0 down in the third set for victory.
“She got really aggressive in the third set, put a lot of pressure on my serve ... (But) I had a great week to make the final,” said Stosur.
Keywords: Porsche Grand Prix