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The Star Online: Sports

Tennis: Henin, Hewitt win at Hopman Cup

Posted: 01 Jan 2011 05:25 AM PST

Published: Saturday January 1, 2011 MYT 9:26:00 PM

PERTH, Australia (AP) - Former top ranked Justine Henin and Lleyton Hewitt have made winning comebacks from injury at the Hopman Cup.

Henin beat Alicia Molik 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday in her first singles match since an elbow injury at Wimbledon in June. The win gave Belgium an early 1-0 lead over Australia.

Hewitt then beat Ruben Bemelmans 6-4, 6-3 to level the tie at 1-1 ahead of the mixed doubles decider between the four players. Saturday's match was Hewitt's first since September when he also played the left-handed Bemelmans in a Davis Cup match which he won in four sets.

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England confident of snuffing out Aussie Test debutant Khawaja’s threat

Posted: 31 Dec 2010 07:56 PM PST

SYDNEY: Strike bowler James Anderson insisted yesterday that England could nullify the threat of Australian Test debutant Usman Khawaja as they seek to wrap up a series win in Sydney.

Pakistan-born Khawaja, 24, is set to make his Test bow for his adopted country as injured skipper Ricky Ponting's replacement in the fifth and final Sydney Test, starting on Monday.

Anderson, England's leading wicket-taker with 17 scalps, believes that with a little extra information, the tourists' attack will be able to snuff out the threat from the technically-gifted Khawaja.

"It will be slightly new. We've played against him and had a bit of experience against him," Anderson told reporters.

"The guys have had a bit of a taste of what he's about, what his strengths are."

Khawaja, top-scorer in this season's domestic Sheffield Shield competition, went cheaply for 13 and a duck playing for Australia A against the English in Hobart.

"Hopefully, with a bit more background knowledge from a couple of the local guys like (England's Australian bowling coach) David Saker, that might help us even more," Anderson said.

Anderson said despite criticism of Ponting's leadership and poor batting form, the skipper's absence would be a "huge loss" for Australia in the Sydney Test.

He said that while Ponting was in a slump, he remained an integral part of the Australian side.

"He has been out of form but he's a fine player and a real wicket that we cherish and we really want to get, so I think he'll be a big loss for them," Anderson said.

Anderson said that England were focused on ending their 24-year series drought in Australia rather than just retaining the Ashes.

"When I was growing up as a kid watching us come over here and struggle, then being involved in 2006-7, that was really tough," he said.

"So all of us want to go home with a winning series, not just retaining the Ashes. We're not going to settle for that now.

"We've still got a 24-year record that we want to put to bed and we're not going to settle for a 2-2 series," he said.

Anderson said he remained fresh despite a heavy workload during the gruelling series.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Anderson said. "I love the responsibility that I've got, opening the bowling and leading the attack," he added. – AFP

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