Henin makes triumphant return with Flipkens victory

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Justine Henin made a triumphant return to Melbourne Park Monday, romping past fellow Belgian Kirsten Flipkens in the first round of the Australian Open.

The seven-times grand slam winner, who returned to competitive tennis two weeks ago at the Brisbane International after an 18-month retirement, was too strong for the 71st ranked Flipkens and wrapped up a 6-4 6-3 victory in 73 minutes.

Henin had withdrawn from the Sydney International tournament with nagging foot and leg soreness after she lost the Brisbane final to compatriot Kim Clijsters and appeared to be easing herself back onto the big stage Monday.

She last played a grand slam at Melbourne Park in 2008 before retiring and will now face fifth seed Elena Dementieva or Vera Dushevina in the second round.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury, Editing by Nick Mulvenney)