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Former No. 1 returning to tennis after marital issues

1/23/2007 - Tennis

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Justine Henin-Hardenne is separating
from her husband and plans to return to the WTA Tour.

Three weeks after pulling out of the Australian Open,
Henin-Hardenne, the former No. 1, announced on her Web site
Wednesday that she and her husband, Yves, had decided to separate
and she planned to play next month in Paris.

"The last few weeks were difficult for me," she said.

She was the runner-up at the Australian Open last year and lost
her No. 1 world ranking because of forfeiting the first Grand Slam
of the year.

Henin-Hardenne, 24, won the French Open last year and reached
the final at the three other majors before capping 2006 with a win
in the season-ending WTA Tour Championship. She had a 60-8 record.

The Gaz de France tournament is set for Feb. 5-11.

"It's not far from my home, and it's always pleasant for me to
be in Paris," the Belgian said. "This will be my first tournament
for the season. I hope to find my form, and as usual will give all
of myself."