Melbourne:Justine Henin's amazing return from retirement to make the Australian Open final is a remarkable achievement, but she says it pales in comparison to Kim Clijsters' comeback win at the US Open.
The Belgians have never been the best of friends but Henin has nothing but respect for Clijsters' inspiring victory at Flushing Meadows last year, when she won after taking time out to have a baby.
"I'm not quite sure I could do it, having a child and then coming back on the tour," Henin said. "I mean, it's brave to do it, to travel with a child, to deal with being a mum and a tennis player. I think it's not easy."
"So it's great what she's doing. I have a lot of respect for what she did because it's not easy, and she has been (playing at) an amazing level very quickly, beating Venus and Serena Williams in the same tournament.
"And she confirmed that again in the final. So it was just fantastic what she did."
Like Henin, Clijsters was a wildcard when she reached the US Open final after a self-enforced sabbatical to get married and start a family.
But it took her three tournaments, 14 matches and just over a month to get there. In comparison, Henin has reached the Australian Open final just 12 matches and less than four weeks into her comeback.
She plays defending champion Serena Williams on Saturday in her bid to emulate Clijsters' US Open story.