Stuttgart :Former world number one Justine Henin gave herself a French Open boost on Sunday with the first victory on her comeback as she won the Stuttgart WTA tournament.
Since ending her 18-month hiatus in January, Henin's 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 win over Australia's Samantha Stosur in Sunday's final was her first title in her third final since coming out of retirement having last won here in 2007.
"It's very emotional for me to win here," said Henin.
"I never thought I would be back here again, not even a year ago.
"I have had a fantastic week and I can now say I will try to be back here next year."
Henin, who has won seven Grand Slam titles, revealed she first had the idea to come back to tennis when she saw Roger Federer win at Roland Garros.
"To see Roger win the French Open last year, and keep fighting so hard, brought back the fire in me which had not been there for a long time before," said the 27-year-old, who revealed her pet dog is named 'Deuce'.
"I still have to work hard for the next few weeks, months and hopefully years.
"It was fantastic to get away from tennis, but it feels so good to be back and share all these emotions again."
Henin's 42nd title in her 60th final puts the former world number one back inside the world's top 20 as she bids to win a fifth French Open title at Roland Garros which starts on May 23.
Seventh-seed Stosur was contesting her second straight final, having won last month's Charleston tournament, but she had her 11-match winning streak ended by Henin's victory.
"It's been a good week, I have really enjoyed playing here and it was nice to be back after a few years away," said Stosur.
"It's been a nice feeling to get into the final, but Justine was a bit too strong for me.
"In the third set she got really aggressive, put in some great returns which put me under pressure and she broke me three times in a row.
"That was the key to her win."
Both Henin and Stosur, who is set to move up the rankings to eighth, reached the final as wildcard entrants, but Henin more than proved her credentials with victory over fellow ex-world number one Jelena Jankovic in the quarter-finals.
Henin made the crucial breakthrough in the fifth game for a 3-2 lead in the first set which she never relinquished having defended the single break point against her.
But in the second set, Stosur finally got the breakthrough she had worked for in the fifth game when Henin succumbed to allow the Australian a 4-2 lead and she then broke the Belgian again to take the set.
But Henin dug deep into her vast experience on clay and broke Stosur in the third game of the decider for a 3-1 lead and having broken her opponent twice more, Henin took the set and title in style.