MELBOURNE -- When athletes talk about revenge, it's usually meant for an opponent to atone for an earlier loss.
In tomorrow's Australian Open title match against Amelie Mauresmo of France, Justine Henin-Hardenne will be looking for restitution for the knee and hamstring injuries that forced her off the circuit for about 18 months in the past two years.
With it would come the Belgian's fifth Grand Slam singles victory.
''It's been tough for me to be injured for such a long time," said Henin-Hardenne, who was forced to miss last year's Australian Open, preventing her from defending the title she won here in 2004.
''I think I had a little bit of revenge to come here. I hope I can do it [tomorrow] because I didn't lose a match in Australia in 2004, and I haven't lost any matches here this year. I love this tournament. I hope to do it again."
Mauresmo, a finalist here in 1999 -- the first and only time she's gone that far at a Grand Slam tournament -- won her semifinal yesterday when Kim Clijsters retired in the third set because of a right ankle injury. She will be sidelined at least two months after tearing a ligament in her ankle, she wrote on her website. Henin-Hardenne defeated Maria Sharapova in the other semifinal.
Mauresmo will attempt to break Henin-Hardenne's 13-match winning streak at Melbourne Park.
Henin-Hardenne has won four of her seven matches against Mauresmo, but the only time they've met in a Grand Slam tournament was at the 1999 US Open, where Mauresmo won in the first round.
Henin-Hardenne has won their last two matches, at the 2004 Olympics and in a three-setter in Toronto last year.
Henin-Hardenne, who recently missed two months with an injured right hamstring, is coming off a win in the Sydney International. But she's still surprised that she's in the final at Melbourne Park.
''When I arrived here I was coming to play a couple of matches and get my confidence back," said Henin-Hardenne. ''I think it's just great to come back this way."
Mauresmo said there are many differences between her game in 1999 and now.
''I really felt at the time, my game was instinct, I didn't really know what I was doing . . . I was 19," she said.
''Now my ranking is showing that I'm much more consistent and aware of what I'm doing on the court. And more mature."