BRISBANE - Time away from tennis has helped Justine Henin, pictured, "grow up" as an individual and the former world No 1 is confident she is returning to the tour a better player.
Seven-time Grand Slam champion Henin announced her return to the women's tour in September after a 15-month absence and the Belgian will kick off her preparation for the Australian Open at next month's Brisbane International.
"I believe I can be a better player, I believe I can use my experience more than in the past," she told the Brisbane event's website (brisbaneinternational.com.au).
"It's been a great experience to go out of the tennis world for 18 months and to come back because I feel I grew up. I really needed to come out of this bubble. The tennis world is a small world. There are so many things around that and I never realised that before.
"To come back to my passion, to what I love so much, after this part of my life is such a great feeling.
"I'm 27, now I just want to live my second career differently to how I did in the past."
Henin won 41 WTA Tour titles before quitting tennis. - Reuters