Melbourne:Justine Henin staged another memorable comeback Friday to advance in her first Grand Slam after a short retirement, beating No. 27 Alisa Kleybanova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the third round of the Australian Open.
Facing two break points at 1-3 in the second set, it seemed as if Henin's dramatic win over Olympic gold medalist and fifth-ranked Elena Dementieva on Wednesday had sapped too much energy. After all, it was only the seventh match for the seven-time Grand Slam winner since she returned from 20 months off the tour.
But Henin managed to hold that game, beginning to hit the lines with her groundstrokes instead of just missing them, and in the next game converted her first break-point chance against Kleybanova.
She broke again in the 10th game to level at one-set apiece, the Russian giving it to her with a double-fault.
Henin, unranked and playing on a wild-card entry, built a 3-1 lead in the deciding set and - apart from a momentary lapse when Kleybanova broke her in the fifth game - dominated the rest of the match.
Only two nights earlier, Henin had to save set points to finish off Dementieva in a tiebreaker, drawing on the experience of losing in similar circumstances to Kim Clijsters after holding match points in the Brisbane International final on Jan. 9.
That was Henin's first tournament since she quit while holding the No. 1 ranking in May 2008.
Another Belgian, Yanina Wickmayer, went the distance before advancing 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-3 over Sara Errani.
Andy Roddick was challenged all the way in a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Feliciano Lopez and next will play 2007 runner-up Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, who went the distance in a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Kazakhstan's Evgeny Korolev.
Second-seeded Dinara Safina had an easier third-round match, advancing with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Britain's Elena Baltacha in her first match on Rod Laver Arena since her lopsided loss to Serena Williams in last year's final.
Safina will have a more difficult assignment next round against fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko, who beat Italian Roberta Vinci 7-5, 7-6 (4). Kirilenko had an upset win over 2008 champion Maria Sharapova in the opening round.
Eighth-seeded Jelena Jankovic was upset 6-2, 6-3 by No. 31 Alona Bondarenko.
Both Safina and Jankovic have held the No. 1 ranking, but neither has won a Grand Slam singles title. Only Safina, who has been a runner-up three times, can make that breakthrough here.
"I'm happy to be back here in Rod Laver, I didn't have too many good memories from last year so I turned it around and tried to forget the bad memories," said Safina, focusing on the positives. "I had some unbelievable matches here in Rod Laver: dramas, fighting, running."
Jankovic made 40 unforced errors against 13 winners, contributing to her first loss in 10 meetings with Bondarenko. The 24-year-old Serbian hasn't gone beyond the fourth round at any of the majors since she lost the 2008 U.S. Open final - her only championship match at a major.
Clijsters was playing a night match against Nadia Petrova. Clijsters inspired Henin's return to the tour by winning the U.S. Open last September in her third tournament back from retirement, and could play her in the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park.
Defending champion Rafael Nadal also had a night match against Philipp Kohlschreiber on Rod Laver Arena.
Roger Federer, the king of tennis, met Britain's Prince William on the same court the previous evening. After Federer dispatched Victor Hanescu 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in 99 minutes Thursday, on-court interviewer Jim Courier invited the top-ranked Swiss star to acknowledge the rare visit to Melbourne by a high-ranking British royal.
"Your Royal Highness, welcome to the world of tennis," Federer said. "Thanks for coming."
Prince William duly blushed and waved. Federer is no stranger to royalty, having collected the Wimbledon trophy six times on London's grass courts among his record 15 Grand Slam titles. But this was his first meeting with William, second in line to the British throne.
"Of course, where he comes from, you know, he knows tennis. And Wimbledon's big," Federer said. "It was very a big honor that he came to watch me."
Prince William also met women's champion Serena Williams, who defeated Czech Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-1 to set up a third-round match against Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro. Navarro ousted Venus Williams in the second round last year.
Venus has already improved on that, defeating Sybille Bammer 6-2, 7-5.
Serena planned to speak to Venus about combatting Suarez Navarro.
"I would hate to see it become a habit for her, taking out a sister this time every year," Serena said.
US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki was among the other women advancing. Former No. 1-ranked Ana Ivanovic lost to Argentina's Gisela Dulko.
Of the leading men, 2008 champion Novak Djokovic, No. 9 Fernando Verdasco and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marcos Baghdatis and - the losing finalists in '08, '06 and '05 - all advanced. No. 6 Nikolay Davydenko extended his winning streak to 11, including his victories over Federer and Nadal in his previous two tournament titles.