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Henin battles back to win Wimbledon warm-up; Safina withdraws

Justine Henin has twice lost in the final at Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam title she has yet to win.
Justine Henin has twice lost in the final at Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam title she has yet to win.
  • Justine Henin comes from behind to beat Andrea Petkovic in final of UNICEF Open
  • Belgian boosts hopes of first title at Wimbledon as she clinches 43rd victory on tour
  • Former world No.1 Dinara Safina pulls out of Wimbledon with ongoing back problem
  • Russian qualifier Ekaterina Makarova upsets Victoria Azarenka in final at Eastbourne

(CNN) -- Justine Henin boosted her hopes of a first Wimbledon title by clinching victory in her final grass warm-up match at the UNICEF Open in the Netherlands on Saturday.

The nine-time Grand Slam champion clinched her second WTA Tour crown since returning from an 18-month retirement this year as she beat Germany's Andrea Petkovic in the final at Hertogenbosch.

The top-seeded Belgian won 3-6 6-3 6-4 against the 22-year-old seventh seed, who was playing only her second top-flight title match, as she recorded her 43rd tournament victory overall.

Henin battled back from losing the opening set and then retrieved a 3-0 deficit in the decider.

The 28-year-old will be seeded 17th in England, where she will seek to go one better than her two losing final appearances in 2001 and 2006.

Why Wimbledon beats the World Cup

Former world No. 1 Dinara Safina, who lost in the first round of the Dutch event, has withdrawn from Wimbledon -- where last year she reached the semifinals -- due to her ongoing back problems.

The Russian will be replaced in the field by Melanie Oudin, who becomes 33rd seed. The 18-year-old American's place in the main draw now goes to lucky loser Stephanie Dubois of Canada.

Spanish 22nd seed Maria Martinez Sanchez has also pulled out with a knee injury, so Kateryna Bondarenko of the Ukraine becomes the 34th seed and Russia's Anastasia Pivovarova enters the 128-woman draw.

Victoria Azarenka, the 14th seed at Wimbledon, was unable to continue her fine run at the Eastbourne event in England as she was beaten by giantkiller Ekaterina Makarova in Saturday's final.

The Belarussian had beaten Agnieszka Radwanska, Kim Clijsters and Marion Bartoli in the previous rounds, but lost 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to Russian qualifier Makarova.

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The world No. 100 had earlier knocked out Italy's Flavia Pennetta, compatriots Nadia Petrova and Svetlana Kuznetsova, and then French Open runner-up Samantha Stosur.

Meanwhile, world No. 71 Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine won the men's title in Hertogenbosch, beating Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic 6-3 6-0 in the final for his third victory on the ATP Tour.

Frenchman Michael Llodra won the men's title at Eastbourne, with the world No. 46 defeating fifth seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5 6-2 to claim his first grass success since winning at Hertogenbosch six years ago.