Former world #1 Justine Henin continued her comeback preparations by beating world #20 Nadia Petrova of Russia. Henin posted a straight set 7-6, 6-2 win over the Russian in an exhibition match in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday, December 12. The 27-year-old Henin is using exhibition matches against top WTA players as preparation for a return to the WTA tour next month. She hasn’t played any WTA-sanctioned match after announcing her retirement in May 2008.

Henin has a good history against Petrova having won 11 of their previous 13 meetings. But Petrova hang tough in the first set and came up with a series of powerful groundstrokes to force a tie-break. Henin showed she hasn’t lost any of her fighting skills as she used her experience and clay-court skills to win the tie-break, 7-4.

The second set was less competitive with Petrova making too many unforced errors. Henin’s third victory in her third competitive match after retirement is boding well for her Australian Open preparations. Last week, she beat compatriot Kirsten Flipkens and Flavia Penetta of Italy in another exhibition held in Charleroi, Belgium. She now heads to Brisbane, Australia for her first WTA tournament since her retirement.