BRISBANE (Australia) (AFP) An emotional Justine Henin said she was almost overwhelmed by the occasion when she made a triumphant return to the womens tennis tour at the Brisbane International on Monday. Henin, playing her first match since May 2008, upset second seeded Russian Nadia Petrova 7-5, 7-5 in the first round of the season-opening tournament. The former world number one proved she can still be a force in the womens game as she showed all her steely determination to defeat Petrova. While her trademark backhand may have been a little rusty in patches, Henin was able to convert break points at key moments in both sets to clinch victory. But despite looking in complete control throughout, Henin conceded she had been affected by her emotions beforehand. Ive been waiting for this moment for so long, and finally I walked on the court, and the crowd (cheered) I was really touched by the crowd, she said. At the beginning everything seemed very big the stadium, all the people Im not used to it any more. But now Im so happy, she added. Im happy about what I did on the court. Im happy about my feelings, and what Ive done, and the winning of course. Henin retired from tennis in May 2008 while ranked number one in the world, saying she had lost the desire to compete at the top level. However, soon after compatriot Kim Clijsters won the 2009 US Open after making her own comeback, Henin announced that she too was coming out of retirement. Clijsters, also playing in Brisbane, won her first round match on Sunday, and organisers will be delighted that there is still a chance the two Belgian rivals will meet in Saturdays final. Its a different Henin, Petrova said. To me it looks like shes playing better tennis than before she retired. The Russian said that instead of playing a game of attrition, the newly aggressive Henin was trying to win points earlier in the rallies which made her even harder to play against. Henin now plays Sesil Karatancheva of Kazakhstan in the second round ahead of a probable quarter-final against seventh seeded Hungarian Melinda Czink. If successful there she would likely face Serbias Ana Ivanovic in the semi-finals. Ivanovic, also looking to reclaim her place in the top 10, survived a big scare against Australias Jelena Dokic before winning 7-5, 1-6, 6-3. The Serbian pin-up is desperate to recover from a disappointing 2009, which saw her slump to 22 in the world after a run of injuries and poor form. Its my goal to get back to the top 10 and play the championship at the end of the year, she said. Last year was a tough year, but I learned a lot from it and I think it helped me a lot to be mentally stronger and to know more what I want and not take anything for granted. This has made me appreciate it more and realise I have to work hard for every match and not just expect it to come. She will now play Timea Bacsinszky in the second round following the Swiss players 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) win over Russian qualifier Alla Kudryavtseva. There was a minor upset when Russias Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat fifth seeded countrywoman Alisa Kleybanova 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, while other winners included Czech Lucie Safarova, Hungarys Agnes Szavay and Roberta Vinci of Italy.