While Henin-Hardenne, the Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion, won her match, her top-ranked countrywoman, Kim Clijsters, lost to Yugoslavian Jelena Dokic, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. Henin-Hardenne can take over the top spot with a win in Sunday's final.
She had her first opportunity to claim the No. 1 ranking at Filderstadt last week, but Clijsters beat her in the final, their 15th career meeting.
With a win on Sunday, Henin-Hardenne would become the different 13th player to top the list since the women's computer rankings began in November 1975.
"It's going to be just one more match," said Henin-Hardenne, who is nursing a knee injury, of her match against Dokic. "It's a lot of pressure because a lot of people are talking about it, but if I don't make it, it's not the end of the world.
The winner collects $189,000 and 275 points in the championship standings.