Justine Henin Receives Wildcard into Indian Wells
Belgian Justine Henin will make a long-awaited return to the California desert next month at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
Tournament director Steve Simon announced on Wednesday that the former World No. 1 and seven-time major champion has been granted a wildcard into the tournament.
Henin, who won the BNP Paribas Open in 2004, joins a host of former champions in the field including three-time major champion Maria Sharapova (2006), defending US Open champion Kim Clijsters (2003 and 2005), Serbian star Ana Ivanovic (2008), defending women’s champion Vera Zvonareva, and Daniela Hantuchova (2002 and 2007). This will be Henin’s first trip to Indian Wells since 2006.
The Belgian star recently returned to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour after retiring from the sport in May of 2008. She came back with a flourish and as an unranked wildcard reached the finals of her first event in Brisbane and the finals at the Australian Open. En route to the finals at the first major of the year, Henin defeated a number of top-ranked players, including number five seed Elena Dementieva, and US Open semifinalist Yanina Wickmayer.
“Not only is the BNP Paribas Open excited to have Justine in the field, but I’m certain our fans are going to be thrilled to have the opportunity to see such a phenomenal player compete again at our tournament,” said Simon. “Adding a former champion, and one of the best women’s players of all-time, means that fans will again get to witness some of the finest tennis in the world.”
“I am very happy that the BNP Paribas Open has granted me a wildcard, and I look forward to returning to Indian Wells,” said Henin. “I am excited to be back on Tour, and hope to continue the success I have had thus far in 2010. The fan support has been incredible, and I hope that I am able to claim my first title of the season at the BNP Paribas Open in March!”
For more information about the tournament, or to buy tickets, visit www.bnpparibasopen.org.