Henin shines at French Open, Nadal poised for opener | world | Hindustan Times
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Henin shines at French Open, Nadal poised for opener

Henin, the number 22 seed, is appearing at her first French Open since she last won the event in 2007, having retired from tennis in 2008 and then returned to the sport at the beginning of this year.

world Updated: May 25, 2010 16:50 IST

Four-time winner Justine Henin made a winning return to Roland Garros by beating Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4, 6-3 to reach the French Open second round on Tuesday.

Henin, the number 22 seed, is appearing at her first French Open since she last won the event in 2007, having retired from tennis in 2008 and then returned to the sport at the beginning of this year.

The 27-year-old Belgian will face either Czech Klara Zakopalova or Slovenia's Katarina Srebotnik for a place in the last 32.

Henin secured the first break of the match when she dispatched a crisp backhand return winner in the seventh game of the first set and a deft volley at 5-4 up brought her the set.

The decisive break in the second set also arrived in the seventh game and Henin went on to wrap up victory in one hour and 29 minutes when the Bulgarian lashed a backhand into the tramlines.

Russian 29th seed Anastasiya Pavlyuchenkova booked her place in the next round with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat of home favourite Alize Cornet, while Slovakian 23rd seed Daniela Hantuchova thrashed Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-1, 6-1.

Israeli 18th seed Shahar Peer and Russian 21st seed Vera Zvonareva will also compete for a place in round three after both won their first-round matches in straight sets.

Four-time men's champion Rafael Nadal begins his campaign later on Tuesday when he takes on French teenager Gianni Mina and sixth seed Andy Roddick, the former world number one, faces Finland's Jarkko Nieminen.

In the women's draw, last year's beaten finalist Dinara Safina faces Japan's Kimiko Date Krumm, while former world number one Maria Sharapova confronts Russian compatriot Ksenia Pervak.