Perth, 1 January 2011 | AAP

Lleyton Hewitt made a successful return from injury with victory over Ruben Bemelmans in Australia’s Hopman Cup tie with Belgium on Saturday.

Hewitt, playing his first match since injuring his hand in September, defeated world No.178 Bemelmans 6-4 6-3 to send the tie into a live mixed doubles, after Justine Henin defeated Alicia Molik 6-4 6-4 earlier in the day.

Hewitt, whose ranking slipped to 54 during his layoff, moved freely and showed no signs of the hip and knee problems that troubled him last year before the hand injury eventually ended his campaign.

Earlier, Henin said she was satisfied with her win over Molik despite struggling with her serve at times.

Henin, playing her first match in almost six months after recovering from a career-threatening elbow injury, admitted she felt some pain in the joint.

“Yeah I can’t play 100 per cent free of pain but it’s getting better,” Henin said.

“A few weeks ago I really didn’t know if I was going to be able to come here to Australia.

“It’s been a lot of hard rehabilitation on my elbow.

“I had to work really hard in the last few weeks just to try to serve with no pain.

“I’m not yet 100 per cent but feeling better. It’s good for a first match, I won and that’s (the) most important (thing).

“I’m just glad I’m healthy, almost there, and now I have to build my confidence back and find my rhythm.

“Alicia wasn’t an easy opponent to play first because she was changing the rhythm a lot, especially with the slice. I was a bit out of the rhythm.”