Justine Henin: Wikis

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Justine Henin
Justine henin hardenne medibank international 2006.jpg
Nickname(s) Juju[1]
Country  Belgium
Residence Monte Carlo, Monaco
Date of birth 1 June 1982 (1982-06-01) (age 27)
Place of birth Liège, Belgium
Height 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Weight 57 kg (130 lb; 9.0 st)
Turned pro 1 January 1999
Retired 14 May 2008
return: 4 January 2010[2]
Plays Right–handed; one-handed backhand
Career prize money US$20,352,606
Singles
Career record 503–109
Career titles 41 WTA
Highest ranking No. 1 (20 October 2003)
Current ranking -
Grand Slam results
Australian Open W (2004)
French Open W (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007)
Wimbledon F (2001, 2006)
US Open W (2003, 2007)
Major tournaments
WTA Championships W (2006, 2007)
Olympic Games Gold medal.svg Gold medal (2004)
Doubles
Career record 47–35
Career titles 2
Highest ranking No. 23 (14 January 2002)
Last updated on: 15 May 2008.
Olympic medal record
Competitor for  Belgium
Women's Tennis
Gold 2004 Athens Singles

Justine Henin (born 1 June 1982), formerly known as Justine Henin-Hardenne (2002–2007), is a professional Belgian tennis player.

Henin has won 41 WTA singles titles and seven Grand Slam singles titles, including four French Open titles, one Australian Open title, and two US Open titles. She has also won the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships twice and the singles gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Tennis experts cite her mental toughness, the completeness and variety of her game, her footspeed and footwork, and her one-handed backhand (which John McEnroe has described as the best single-handed backhand in the women's or men's game[3]) as the principal reasons for her success.[4][5] Billie Jean King has said that "pound for pound, Henin is the best tennis player of her generation."[6]

Contents

Playing style

At the 2007 French Open, Martina Navratilova said that "Henin's offense is just phenomenal ... it's sort of like we've got 'the female Federer', or maybe the guys have 'the male Justine Henin', because she is just head and shoulders above everyone else right now."[7]

Henin's single-handed backhand, which is rare in both women's and men's tennis, is one of the most powerful and accurate in the game. She can hit her backhand 'flat', with heavy topspin, or slice [underspin] and can strike winners from any part of the court. Her backhand can also be used to surprise her opponents with dropshots, breaking up the pattern of a groundstroke rally. Her slice backhand is regarded one of the best in the world. However, Henin's forehand is generally regarded as her most dangerous weapon, and the stroke that she normally used to dictate the play of a match. At her peak, Henin consistently recorded the most "winner heavy" stats of all the top 20 ranked players, with the majority of her winners typically being forehand groundstroke winners. In two of her last three matches at the US Open in 2007, Henin hit substantially more winners than each of her opponents: quarterfinal versus Serena Williams, final versus Svetlana Kuznetsova, 25–11.

Despite her relatively small size, Henin has a powerful serve, which has been measured at a top speed of 196 kmh (122 mph) at the 2005 Family Circle Cup.[8] Henin's footwork, balance, and court coverage are exceptional—most notably on clay—and she is adept at changing from a defensive style to an aggressive one. Henin's volleying skills are considered good to exceptional. She utilized serve-and-volley play with more frequency prior to her 2-year long retirement. Henin has started approaching the net more often, in addition to utilizing serve-and-volley (something rarely seen in women's tennis) going after quicker points rather than opting for long rallies like she used to. Her volleying skills have improved to the point whereas she is one of the best, if not the best, volleyer currently active in the WTA.

Personal life

Justine Henin was born in Liège. Her father is José Henin; her mother, Françoise Rosière, was a French and history teacher who died when Justine was 12 years old. She has two brothers (David and Thomas) and a sister (Sarah). She also had an elder sister who was killed in a car accident before Justine was born.[9]

When Justine was two, her family moved to a house in Rochefort, situated next to the local tennis club, where she played tennis for the first time.

Henin's mother routinely took the young Henin across the border to France to watch the French Open.[10] Henin saw the 1992 final involving her idol Steffi Graf and Monica Seles. Although Graf lost, the experience impressed Henin.

In 1995, shortly after her mother's death, Henin met her coach Carlos Rodriguez who guided her career both before her retirement in 2008, and during her 2010 comeback. Following a conflict between Justine and her father over her tennis career and her relationship with Pierre-Yves Hardenne, Rodriguez soon became not only her trainer but in some ways a second father figure.[11]


On 16 November 2002, Henin married Pierre-Yves in the Château de Lavaux-Sainte-Anne.[12][13] On 4 January 2007, Henin withdrew from the upcoming tournaments in Australia, including the Australian Open, due to personal problems. Various news agencies reported that she intended to divorce. She later confirmed on her official website that she had separated from her husband[14][15] and she also resumed her maiden name, Justine Henin, instead of Justine Henin-Hardenne.[16] Her divorce and the serious car accident of her eldest brother helped to clear the path for Justine to make contact again with her close family (which she communicated very openly to the local press). During the 2007 French Open, her brothers and sister attended her matches for the first time in her professional career.

Tennis career

Justine Henin is a globally recognized tennis player, who has had huge success on all surfaces of the game, and has so far achieved Grand Slam success on clay and hard courts, winning 4 French Open titles, including 3 consecutive titles between 2005 and 2007, which ties Monica Seles' record of most consecutive Roland Garros titles won by a woman. This achievement has made her the most successful female clay court player of the last decade (2000-2009). She has also won 3 Grand Slam titles on hard court, winning the US Open title in 2003 and 2007, and the Australian Open title in 2004. She has also reached the Wimbledon final 2 times, in 2001 and 2006, but is yet to win this title.

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Early career

Henin, known as "Juju" to many of her fans,[17] was coached by Carlos Rodriguez of Argentina. In 1997, she won the junior girl's singles title at the French Open. Early in her senior career, she regularly reached the late rounds of international competitions and won five International Tennis Federation tournaments by the end of 1998.

She began her professional career on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tour in May 1999 as a wild card entry in the Belgian Open at Antwerp and became only the fifth player to win her debut WTA Tour event.[citation needed]

Henin established herself as a major competitor in 2001 when she reached the women's singles semifinals of the French Open and then upset the reigning Australian Open and French Open champion Jennifer Capriati in the semifinals of Wimbledon, losing to defending champion Venus Williams in three sets in the final. By the end of the year, Henin was ranked seventh in singles, with three titles to her name. Also that year, she reached the French Open women's doubles semifinals with Elena Tatarkova and helped Belgium win the 2001 Fed Cup.

In 2002, she reached four WTA finals, winning two of them, and finished the year ranked World No. 5. Her German Open victory, her first win at a Tier I tournament, was noteworthy as she beat Jennifer Capriati in a semifinal and Serena Williams in the final, the then number two and number five ranked players, respectively.

2003

Justine Henin prepares to hit a backhand

Henin started the year as the fifth ranked player in the world but lost to Kim Clijsters in the semifinals of the Medibank International in Sydney. In the fourth round of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Henin defeated Lindsay Davenport 7–5, 5–7, 9–7. In a match lasting more than three hours, Henin overcame a 4–1 final set deficit, high temperatures, and muscle cramps to defeat Davenport for the first time in her career.[18][19] Henin then lost to Venus Williams in the semifinals in straight sets.

Henin then lost to Clijsters in the semifinals of the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp. At the Dubai Tennis Championships one week later, Henin defeated former World No. 1 Monica Seles in the final 4–6, 7–6, 7–5 after Seles had a match point at 5–4 in the second set. It was Henin's first victory over Seles.

Henin's next tournament was the Tier I Miami Masters. She lost in the quarterfinals to World No. 10 Chanda Rubin 6–3, 6–2.

At the clay court Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, Henin defeated World No. 1 Serena Williams in the final. This was Williams' first loss of the year after 22 wins.

The following week, Henin reached the semifinals of the Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, Florida, losing to eventual winner Elena Dementieva 3–6, 6–4, 7–5. Henin then helped Belgium defeat Austria 5–0 in a first round tie of the Fed Cup.

In May, Henin successfully defended her Tier I title at the Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin. In the final, Henin saved three match points in the third set before defeating Clijsters.

At the French Open, Henin was the fourth seeded player. She defeated the defending champion, Serena Williams, in a semifinal 6–2, 4–6, 7–5 after Henin trailed 4–2 in the third set. In the final, Henin defeated Clijsters in straight sets. This was Henin's first Grand Slam title, and she was the first Belgian ever to win a Grand Slam singles title.

Henin then began her preparations for Wimbledon. At the grass court Ordina Open in Rosmalen, Henin lost in the final to Clijsters when Henin was forced to retire from the match after injuring her finger.

At Wimbledon, Henin was the third seeded player. She defeated Mary Pierce in the fourth round and Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals before losing to Serena Williams in a straight sets semifinal.

Henin's first competition after Wimbledon was the Fed Cup tie against Slovakia. Henin won both her singles matches to help Belgium win the tie 5–0.

Henin then played two tournaments during the North American summer hard court season before the US Open. At the Tier I Acura Classic in San Diego, the third-seeded Henin defeated the top-seeded Clijsters in the final. Two weeks later at the Tier I Rogers Cup in Toronto, Henin defeated Russia's Lina Krasnoroutskaya in the final.

Henin was the second-seeded player at the US Open. She won her first four matches against unseeded players before defeating seventh-seeded Anastasia Myskina in the quarterfinals. Henin then defeated sixth-seeded Jennifer Capriati in the semifinals 4–6, 7–5, 7–6(4) in a match that lasted more than three hours and stretched to midnight. Henin recovered from a 5-3 deficit in the second set and a 5–2 deficit in the final set and was just two points from defeat eleven times. She was treated for muscle cramps and dehydration overnight but returned to play in the final the next day.[20] In the final, Henin defeated Clijsters in straight sets.[21] The win raised Henin's ranking to World No. 2, just behind Clijsters.

Henin next played the indoor Sparkassen Cup in Leipzig, Germany where she lost to Myskina in the final. This ended Henin's 22-match winning streak. Two weeks later at the indoor Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Filderstadt, Germany, Henin lost in the final to Clijsters. Had Henin won this match, she would have immediately replaced Clijsters as the World No. 1.

At the Tier I Zurich Open the following week, Henin reached her sixth consecutive final where she defeated Serbia's Jelena Dokić. This win caused Henin to become the thirteenth World No. 1 on the Women's Tennis Association computer on 20 October 2003. Henin, however, held this ranking for only one week as Henin declined to defend her title at the Generali Ladies Linz tournament in Linz, Austria.

At the WTA Tour Championships in Los Angeles, Henin defeated Myskina and Capriati but lost to Japan's Ai Sugiyama in her round robin matches. In the semifinals, Henin lost to Amélie Mauresmo 7–6(2), 3–6, 6–3.

Henin was named the International Tennis Federation's women's singles World Champion for 2003. She ended the year as the World No. 1.

2004

Henin started 2004 by winning a warm-up tournament in Sydney. She then won the Australian Open in Melbourne, defeating Kim Clijsters in three sets.

As of 22 March 2004, Henin had accumulated the highest point total (7626) in the history of the WTA rankings. Because the awarding of quality points was eliminated in 2006, this point total may never be exceeded.

By the end of the 2004 spring hard court season, Henin had built a 25-match Tier I winning streak and a 22–1 win-loss record (winning her first 16 matches).

At the start of the 2004 spring clay court season, Henin's health was adversely affected by infection with a strain of cytomegalovirus and an immune system problem. She often slept up to 18 hours a day and barely had the strength to brush her teeth, let alone play competitive tennis.

Although she decided to defend her French Open title and was seeded first in the tournament, she lost her second round match to a much lower-ranked player, Tathiana Garbin of Italy. At the time, the loss marked only the second time in 15 Grand Slam events that she'd lost before the fourth round.

After months of layoff because of a virus, Henin returned to competition in August and won the women's singles gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, defeating Amélie Mauresmo of France in the final 6–3, 6–3. Henin reached the gold medal match by defeating reigning French Open champion Anastasia Myskina in a semifinal 7–5, 5–7, 8–6 after having trailed 1–5 in the final set.[22][23] Her medal ceremony was attended by fellow countryman and IOC president Jacques Rogge.

In September, she was unsuccessful in her defence of her US Open title, losing to Nadia Petrova in the fourth round. This defeat caused her to lose the World No. 1 ranking, which she had held for 45 non-consecutive weeks. She then withdrew from the 10 remaining tournaments of the year in an effort to recover her health and improve her fitness.

2005

Her plan to rejoin the tour at the beginning of 2005 was delayed when she fractured her kneecap in a December 2004 training session.

On 25 March, after more than six months away from competition, Henin returned to the Women's Tennis Association tour at the Miami Masters. She lost to second ranked Maria Sharapova in a quarterfinal. She rebounded at her next tournament, winning the clay court Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina. She won two more clay court titles before the start of the 2005 French Open. Her victories over top ranked Lindsay Davenport, Sharapova, Elena Dementieva, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Petrova made her a top contender for the title there.

Henin was seeded tenth at the French Open and defeated the French player Mary Pierce in the final in straight sets to take her second title at Roland Garros. The win marked Henin's 24th consecutive clay court win and her tenth consecutive final win, a streak dating back to Zurich in October 2003. In capturing the title, she defeated Kuznetsova in the fourth round, Sharapova in a quarterfinal, and Petrova in a semifinal. Henin saved two match points to defeat Kuznetsova in the fourth round 7–6(6), 4–6, 7–5 and thus became only the second woman to win the French Open after saving a match point.[24]

With her French Open victory, Henin moved from World No. 12 to World No. 7 in the women's singles rankings. Henin was a perfect 24–0 on clay this year and joined Monica Seles as the only two currently active (in 2005) players on the WTA Tour to have won the French Open at least twice.

At Wimbledon 2005, Henin's win streak of 24 matches was snapped in the first round by Greek Eleni Daniilidou 7–6, 2–6, 7–5. It was the first time that a reigning French Open champion failed to win a match at Wimbledon.[25][26] A hamstring injury sustained earlier in the year eventually limited her to playing only 11 more matches for 2005.

Henin next played the Rogers Cup in Toronto, where she reached the final after beating Mauresmo in a semifinal before losing to Clijsters in straight sets.

She lost in the fourth round of the US Open to eventual finalist Mary Pierce 6–3, 6–2.

Following this, she played in Filderstadt, but after losing her first round match to Flavia Pennetta, she decided not to play for the rest of 2005.

In 2005, TENNIS Magazine placed her in 31st place on its list of the 40 Greatest Players for the period 1965 through 2005.

In November, at the 2005 WTA Tour Championships, she was named the inaugural winner of the Whirlpool 6TH SENSE Player of the Year, which honors the player who has demonstrated the most sixth sense intuition, that is to say "heightened intelligence, unbeatable performance and pinpoint precision".

2006

Justine Henin at the 2006 Medibank International in Sydney, Australia.

In January, Henin returned to competitive tennis at the tournament in Sydney, a tune-up for the Australian Open. She was seeded fifth and played former World No. 1 (and newly returned to competitive tennis) Martina Hingis in a much hyped first round match. Henin won 6–3, 6–3. She then defeated former US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in a semifinal before defeating Francesca Schiavone in the final.

At the Australian Open, Henin defeated top ranked Lindsay Davenport and fourth ranked Maria Sharapova in three-set matches to set up a final against third ranked Amélie Mauresmo. While trailing 6–1, 2–0, Henin retired from the match, citing intense stomach pain caused by over-use of anti-inflammatories for a persistent shoulder injury. Henin stated afterwards that she feared possible injury had she continued to play. Henin was criticized by the press[27][28] because she had stated after her semifinal win against Sharapova that she was at the "peak of her fitness" and was playing the "best tennis of her life". This was only the fourth Grand Slam women's singles final to end by retirement since 1900 and the first in the open era.

Henin captured her second title of the year at a Tier II event in Dubai, defeating Sharapova 7–5, 6–2. This was her third Dubai title, having won previously in 2003 and 2004. At the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, Henin lost in the semifinals to fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva 2–6, 7–5, 7–5 after leading 6–2, 5–2 and serving for the match twice. Henin also lost in the second round of the Tier I Miami Masters to Meghann Shaughnessy 7–5, 6–4.

On clay, Henin failed to retain her title at the Tier I Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, losing in the semifinals to third-seeded Patty Schnyder 2–6, 6–3, 6–2. It was her first career defeat at this tournament and the end of her 27-match winning streak on clay. Henin then helped Belgium defeat defending champion Russia in a Fed Cup quarterfinal. She beat fifth ranked Nadia Petrova 6–7, 6–4, 6–3, and ninth ranked Elena Dementieva 6–2, 6–0. Petrova had come into the tie with two consecutive clay court tournament victories and a 10-match clay court winning streak, while Dementieva had defeated Henin in their last meeting in Indian Wells and defeated second ranked Belgian compatriot Kim Clijsters on the first day of the tie. Three weeks later, Henin played the Tier I Qatar Telecom German Open, defeating Mauresmo in a semifinal 6–1, 6–2 before losing to Petrova in a three-set final.

At the French Open, Henin defeated second seeded Clijsters in the semifinals 6–3, 6–2. She then defeated Kuznetsova in the final to win her third French Open singles title in four years. Henin captured the title without losing a set and became the first French Open champion to defend her title successfully since Steffi Graf in 1996.

At the Eastbourne grass court tournament just before Wimbledon, Henin defeated Anastasia Myskina in the final in three sets.

Henin was the third seed going into Wimbledon and advanced to her third consecutive Grand Slam final without losing a set. She defeated Clijsters (who was seeded second) in a semifinal 6–4, 7–6(4) but lost the final to Mauresmo. The final featured two finesse players who used their all-court games, a break from recent years that featured a succession of power baseliners claiming the title. At almost every point throughout the match, both players approached the net to volley. Tipped as the tournament favorite, Henin won the first set. But Mauresmo recovered to win the next two sets and her second Grand Slam singles title and deny the Belgian a career Grand Slam.[29][30] This was the only Wimbledon final of the decade that did not involve Venus Williams and/or Serena Williams.

Henin withdrew from Tier I events in San Diego and Montreal because of injury but played the tournament in New Haven, Connecticut. There, she defeated Kuznetsova and Davenport en route to the title. It was her 28th WTA tour title. She returned to the World No. 2 ranking and crossed over US$12 million in career prize money.

At the US Open, Sharapova defeated Henin in the final after Henin had defeated Davenport in the quarterfinals and Jelena Janković in the semifinals 4–6, 6–4, 6–0. Henin became the first woman since Hingis in 1997 to reach the finals of all four Grand Slam singles tournaments in a calendar year.

Henin won both of her singles matches during the Fed Cup final against Italy in Charleroi, Belgium. However, Henin retired from the deciding doubles match because of a knee injury while she and her partner Kirsten Flipkens were trailing 3–6, 6–2, 2–0, giving Italy the championship.

Henin guaranteed her year-end World No. 1 ranking by reaching the final of the Sony Ericsson Championships, defeating Sharapova in the semifinals 6–2, 7–6(5). Henin then defeated Mauresmo and won the tournament for the first time in her career.

Henin was the first player since Hingis in 2000 to win the WTA Tour Championships and end the year as the top ranked player. Henin was the first woman to win at least one Grand Slam singles title in four consecutive years since Graf from 1993 through 1996. Her prize money earnings for the year totaled US$4,204,810.

2007

Justine Henin during the 2007 Miami Masters.

On 4 January 2007, Henin withdrew from the Australian Open and the warm-up tournament in Sydney to deal with the break-up of her marriage. Not playing those tournaments caused Henin to lose the World No. 1 ranking to Maria Sharapova.

In Henin's first tournament of the year, she lost in the semifinals of the Open Gaz de France in Paris to Czech Lucie Šafářová 7–6(5), 6–4. She then won two hardcourt tournaments in the Middle East, the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open (for the fourth time in five years) over Amélie Mauresmo and her first Qatar Total Open title in Doha, defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. She also reached US$14 million in career prize money and on 19 March, regained the World No. 1 ranking.

At the Miami Masters, Henin reached the final for the first time in her career, where she lost to Serena Williams 0–6, 7–5, 6–3 after holding two match points at 6–0, 5–4. Her next tournament was the J&S Cup in Warsaw, Poland, which she won, beating Alyona Bondarenko of Ukraine in the final. Later, at the Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin, Henin won her quarterfinal against Jelena Janković 3–6, 6–4, 6–4 after being behind 4–0 in the third set, only to lose her semifinal against Kuznetsova 6–4, 5–7, 6–4. The loss was only her second to Kuznetsova in 16 career meetings.

At the French Open, Henin was the two-time defending champion and top seed. In a highly-anticipated quarterfinal match against Serena Williams, Henin won 6–4, 6–3. She then defeated Janković in the semifinals 6–2, 6–2. In the final, Henin defeated Ana Ivanović in straight sets to claim her third consecutive French Open title, equalling Seles's open era record. She also surpassed US$15 million in career prize money earnings. Henin won the tournament without dropping a set and has not lost a set at this tournament since the 2005 French Open quarterfinals. She has not lost a match at the French Open since 2004.

The International Women's Open in Eastbourne was Henin's first grass court tournament of the year. She and Mauresmo reached the final, which was the first time in nearly 30 years that the Eastbourne final included both finalists from Wimbledon the previous year. Henin recovered from a break down in the final set to win in a third set tiebreak for the second consecutive year.

At Wimbledon, Henin lost to Marion Bartoli in the semifinals 1–6, 7–5, 6–1, one day after Henin defeated Serena Williams in the quarterfinals. It was Henin's first win over the American on a surface other than clay. In the semifinal, Henin was up a break at 1–0 and 4–3 in the second set but could not hold the lead. The match was described as one of the biggest upsets in Wimbledon history.[31]

In August, Henin won the Tier I Rogers Cup in Toronto, defeating Janković in the final. The tournament championship was Henin's 35th on the WTA tour, moving her past Clijsters who retired with 34 tournament championships.

At the US Open, Henin defeated her first four opponents in straight sets, with a 6–0 set in each match. Henin then faced Serena Williams in the quarterfinals for the third consecutive time in a Grand Slam tournament, and for the third time, Henin won, 7–6(3), 6–1. In the semifinals against Venus Williams, Henin was up a break in the first set but could not hold it. She finally won the set in a tiebreak. In the second set, Henin was ahead 3–0 before Williams leveled the set at 3–3. Williams then had three break points on Henin's service but could not convert and lost the game. Henin then broke Williams's serve and held her own serve to go up 5–3. Williams then broke Henin to pull within 5–4 but Henin broke Williams again in the last game to win the match 7–6(4), 6–4. Henin became only the second player to defeat both Williams sisters in the same Grand Slam tournament (after Martina Hingis at the 2001 Australian Open).[32] In the final, Henin won her second US Open singles title, defeating Kuznetsova in straight sets. Henin won the tournament without dropping a set.

Henin won her next tournament, the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, defeating Tatiana Golovin in the final. Two weeks later, Henin won the Zurich Open, her ninth title of the year, by again defeating Golovin in the final.

At the WTA Tour Championships, Henin won all three of her round robin matches, defeating Anna Chakvetadze, Janković, and Bartoli. Going into the match against Bartoli, Henin had won 22 consecutive matches since Bartoli defeated her in the 2007 Wimbledon semifinals. Although Henin had already clinched a spot in the semifinals, both Henin and Bartoli did not know Bartoli had to replace Serena Williams until several hours before the match and lost 6–0, 6–0.[33] In the semifinals, Henin defeated Ivanović 6–4, 6–4. In the final, Henin overcame Sharapova in three sets[34] in a match that lasted 3 hours, 24 minutes. Sharapova won the first set on her eighth set point in the 12-minute last game. Henin won the match on her fifth match point in the final game of the match. This was Henin's longest ever match, the longest final in tournament history, and the twelfth longest women's match ever.[34]

This victory extended Henin's winning streak to 25 matches. She only lost three sets after Wimbledon. This victory made her the sixth player to successfully defend her title at the WTA's season-ending championship and the first player to claim at least 10 tour titles in a year since Hingis won 12 in 1997. She also became the first woman to break the US$5 million barrier in prize money in a year, and by crossing US$19 million, Henin is now ranked fifth on the all time prize money list.

Henin ended the year ranked World No. 1 for the third time in her career, having done so previously in 2003 and 2006. She was the first player since Steffi Graf to end the year ranked World No. 1 consecutively for two years (Graf was ranked year-end World No. 1 in 1993-1994).

2008

Henin started the year as the World No. 1. 14 January marked Henin's 100th career week as World No. 1, and on 10 March, Henin became only the seventh female player to be ranked World No. 1 for 12 consecutive months.

The Medibank International in Sydney was Henin's first tournament of the year. She defeated Ana Ivanović in the semifinals 6–2, 2–6, 6–4. She then defeated World No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova 4–6, 6–2, 6–4, overcoming an 0–3 deficit in the final set.

At the Australian Open in Melbourne, Henin won her 32nd consecutive match in the fourth round, defeating Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan 6–2, 6–2. The winning streak ended in the quarterfinals when Sharapova, the eventual winner, defeated Henin 6–4, 6–0. This was Henin's first 6–0 loss since the 2002 French Open and the first time since the 2005 US Open that Henin had been defeated in a Grand Slam singles tournament before the semifinals.

At the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp, Henin defeated Karin Knapp in the final. This was Henin's second singles title in her native Belgium. Two weeks later at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, Henin was the defending champion but lost for the first time in eight meetings to Francesca Schiavone in the quarterfinals 7–6(3), 7–6(4). Henin had struggled for three hours in her first match against Katarina Srebotnik, eventually winning 7–5, 6–7, 6–3.

After taking a four week break, Henin's next tournament was the Tier I Miami Masters. She lost in the quarterfinals to Serena Williams 6–2, 6–0. Henin then withdrew from the Tier I Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina because of an injury to her right knee.

At the Tier I, clay court Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin, Henin lost in the third round to Dinara Safina 5–7, 6–3, 6–1, in what turned out to be her final career match. In their five previous career matches, Henin had never lost a set to Safina. The day after her defeat, Henin withdrew from the Tier I Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, citing fatigue.

Retirement

Henin announced her immediate retirement from professional tennis on 14 May 2008, and requested the Women's Tennis Association to remove her name from the rankings immediately. Her announcement was a surprise because Henin was still ranked World No. 1 and was considered the favorite for the 2008 French Open, where she would have been the 3-time defending champion.[35] She said she felt no sadness about her retirement because she believed it was a release from a game she had focused on for twenty years. She also said that in the future, she will be concentrating on charity and her tennis school.

Return

Belgian newspaper, Vers l'Avenir, reported on Tuesday 22 September 2009 that Henin would formally announce her return to competitive tennis after 15 months of retirement. Later that day, Justine Henin confirmed her return to competition.[36] Her intention is to play competitive tennis at least till the 2012 Summer Olympics which are set to held in London. She made her return during the Australian summer at the Brisbane International and received wildcard entry for 2010 Australian Open .[2]|[37]

2010

Henin began her tennis comeback with the Brisbane International. Henin beat No. 2 seed Nadia Petrova in the first round 7-5, 7-5 and Sesil Karatantcheva in the second round 6-4, 6-3. She then beat Melinda Czink 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(5) in a match that took nearly 2 and a half hours. Henin cruised past Ana Ivanovic in the semi-finals, 6-3, 6-2. In the finals, Henin met Kim Clijsters where she lost in three sets 3-6, 6-4, 6-7(6) after wasting 2 match points.

At the 2010 Australian Open, Henin started off with a straight sets victory over Belgian Kirsten Flipkens. She set up the most highly anticipated second round match of the tournament with No. 5 seed Elena Dementieva, whom she defeated 7-5, 7-6(5). Lasting two hours and fifty minutes, commentators felt this match was worthy of a final. Henin approached the net forty three times, winning thirty five of those points. In the 3rd round, she played against Alisa Kleybanova and came back from 3-6, 1-4 to win the match 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Henin then faced a challenging three set clash against fellow Belgian, Yanina Wickmayer, which she won 7-6(7-3), 1-6, 6-3. In the quarterfinals she overcame Nadia Petrova 7-6(7-3), 7-5 to set up a semifinal against Jie Zheng which she won 6-1, 6-0. She was defeated by Serena Williams 4-6, 6-3, 2-6 in the final.

A wildcard was granted for Henin to compete at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, a Premier Mandatory tournament. In the first round, Henin defeated Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 6-2 in a little over an hour. Henin then lost to Gisela Dulko, 2-6, 6-1, 4-6, in a 2 hour match.

Career statistics

Records

  • These records were attained in Open Era of tennis.
Grand Slam Years Record accomplished Player tied
French Open 2005-07 3 consecutive wins Monica Seles
  • Open era record for most consecutive sets at the French Open: 35 (2005-present)

Other tennis activities

On 30 November 2007, Henin opened her own tennis academy Club Justine N1[38] (in French, "N1" is pronounced almost exactly the same as "Henin").

In May 2007, Henin and her coach Carlos Rodriguez started the Academy 6th Sense.[39] At the 2009 US Open - Girls' Doubles the Ukrainian tennis player Maryna Zanevska became the first "6th Sense player" to win a Grand Slam title.[40]

Retirement

On 14 May 2008, Henin announced her immediate retirement from professional tennis. She was 25 years old and ranked World No. 1 at the time.[41][35] She announced her return to competitive tennis on September 22, 2009.[36]

Activities during 2008-2009 retirement

Henin became involved in two Belgian reality shows in 2009. In May, she starred in De Twaalf Werken van Justine Henin - Les 12 travaux de Justine Henin (The 12 Labors of Justine Henin). The show followed Henin as she completed 12 personal challenges. In June 2009, she hosted a musical TV show that revolved around Belgian-Italian singer Lara Fabian.[42]

Return to tennis

In September 2009, Justine Henin announced that she would return to the WTA Tour after a twenty month break.

Henin made her return to tennis at the 2010 Brisbane International where she was given a wildcard. She defeated No. 2 seed Nadia Petrova, Sesil Karatantcheva, No. 7 seed Melinda Czink and No. 3 seed Ana Ivanović to make it to the final. She then lost to her Belgian compatriot Kim Clijsters in the final, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6) in a two hour twenty three minute match.

At the 2010 Australian Open, Henin was given a wildcard as an unranked player. In the first round, she defeated Kirsten Flipkens from Belgium, 6-4, 6-3. In the second round, Henin defeated World No. 5 Elena Dementieva from Russia, 7-5, 7-6(6) in a two hour fifty minute match that commentators felt was worthy of a final. Henin approached the net forty-three times, winning thirty-five of those points. In the third round, she defeated No. 28 seed Alisa Kleybanova from Russia; where she made a comeback to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.[43] In the fourth round she faced World No. 16 and fellow Belgian compatriot, Yanina Wickmayer, defeating her in 3 sets 7-6, 1-6, 6-3. She then defeated No. 19 seed Nadia Petrova from Russia in the quarter-finals. Henin won 7-6, 7-5 and was down 0-3 in the second set. She then went on to defeat Zheng Jie from China in the semi-finals in convincing fashion 6-1, 6-0, setting up a clash with World No. 1 Serena Williams in the 2010 Australian Open ladies final. This was the first time in their long rivalry that Henin and Serena Williams met in a Grand Slam Final. Henin would eventually fall to Serena Williams in 3 sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

In March 2010, she played in BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells - her first tournament since the Australian Open. She reached the second round but unexpectedly lost to Gisela Dulko of Argentina in three sets.

Awards

2002

  • UEPS European Sportswoman of the Year.[44]

2003

2004

2005

  • Family Circle/State Farm "Player Who Makes A Difference".
  • Whirlpool 6th Sense Player of the Year.

2006

  • Appointed UNESCO Champion for Sport.[45]
  • ITF World Champion.
  • Belgian Sportswoman of the Year
  • Member of the Belgian Sporting Team of the Year (Fed Cup - Team)
  • UEPS European Sportswoman of the Year.[44]

2007

  • Whirlpool 6th Sense Player of the Year.
  • Belgian Sportswoman of the Year.
  • Belgian Sports Personality of the Year (career award).
  • ITF World Champion.
  • USSA Female Athlete of the Year.[46]
  • EFE Sportsperson of the Year.[47]
  • UEPS European Sportswoman of the Year.[44]

2008

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.espnstar.com/tennis/news/detail/item176586/Sporting-Legends:-Justine-Henin/ Sporting Legends: Justine Henin
  2. ^ a b Tennis Australia (2009-09-23). "Henin set for Aussie summer". http://www.tennis.com.au/pages/News.aspx?id=4&pageId=11478&HandlerId=2&archive=false&newsid=6241. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  3. ^ "Henin bows out at the top". BBC Sport. 2008-05-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/7401254.stm. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  4. ^ "Resilient Henin takes U.S. Open title". The Hindu. 2003-09-07. http://www.hindu.com/2003/09/08/stories/2003090802482100.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  5. ^ McClure, Geoff (2004-01-29). "Sporting Life". The Age. http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/01/28/1075088087727.html?from=storyrhs. Retrieved 2008-06-01. <
  6. ^ Henin Retires From Sony Ericsson WTA Tour
  7. ^ Interview with Barbara Schett, Eurosport, 7 June 2007
  8. ^ 'Harder, Better, Faster...' Article discussing record serve speeds of women - Nov 28
  9. ^ Belgian Brilliance of Justine Henin
  10. ^ Serras, M. (2003-06-08). "Justine lanza la raqueta al cielo" (in Spanish). El Pais. http://www.elpais.com/articulo/deportes/Justine/lanza/raqueta/cielo/elpepidep/20030608elpepidep_3/Tes/. Retrieved 2006-08-29. 
  11. ^ Wertheim, L. Jon (2010-01-27). "Can Rafael Nadal Get Back into Game Shape?" (in English). Sports Illustrated. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jon_wertheim/01/27/wednesday.mailbag/index.html. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  12. ^ Bedell, Geraldine (2003-10-05). "Face to face". The Observer. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2003/oct/05/tennis.features. Retrieved 2006-08-29. 
  13. ^ "Hometown marriage for tennis star Henin". 2002-11-16. http://www.justine-henin.net/article.asp?id=191. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  14. ^ Justine Henin - The Official Site
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ "Justine va reprendre son nom de jeune fille". Le Soir. 2007-01-04. http://www.lesoir.be/sports/tennis/2007/01/04/article_justine_va_reprendre_son_nom_de_jeune_fille.shtml. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  17. ^ http://www.espnstar.com/tennis/news/detail/item176586/Sporting-Legends:-Justine-Henin/ Sporting Legends: Justine Henin
  18. ^ Australian Open review
  19. ^ Henin triumphs in thriller
  20. ^ Henin-Hardenne tops Capriati in classic to face Clijsters in final
  21. ^ Henin-Hardenne lifts US Open title
  22. ^ Molik falls as Henin sets gold standard
  23. ^ Henin-Hardenne into final
  24. ^ Brave Henin-Hardenne battles on
  25. ^ Henin-Hardenne makes shock exit
  26. ^ Wimbledon Notebook: Eleni Daniilidou's win of a lifetime
  27. ^ Collins, Bud (2006-01-29). "Henin-Hardenne took the queasy way out". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/sports/other_sports/tennis/articles/2006/01/29/henin_hardenne_took_the_queasy_way_out/. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  28. ^ Shriver, Pam (2006-09-29). "Shriver: Henin-Hardenne's reputation is tarnished". ESPN.com. http://proxy.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/aus06/columns/story?id=2310543. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  29. ^ Mauresmo clinches Wimbledon title
  30. ^ Amelie Mauresmo the Sentimental Favorite to Win Wimbledon
  31. ^ BBC Sport (2007-07-06). "Bartoli stuns Henin to make final". BBC Sport. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/6278644.stm. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  32. ^ Neil Schlecht (2007-09-07). "Two Sisters Down, a Russian to Go for Henin". U.S. Open. http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/match_reports/2007-09-07/200709071189220679750.html. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  33. ^ Eds. (2007-11-08). "World No. 1 Justine Henin Crushes Marion Bartoli, Ends Round Robin with Double Bagel". On The Baseline. http://www.onthebaseline.com/2007/11/08/justine-henin-crushes-bartoli-ends-round-robin-with-double-bagel/. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  34. ^ a b Women's Tennis Association (2007-11-11). "Another Perfect Ending for World No.1 Henin". Women's Tennis Association. http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/1/newsroom/stories/?ContentID=1900. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  35. ^ a b "Henin announces shock retirement". BBC Sport. 2008-05-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/7399963.stm. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  36. ^ a b "Henin to return to tennis in 2010". BBC Sport. 2009-09-22. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/8267941.stm. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  37. ^ http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/articles/2009-10-12/200910121255326294039.html
  38. ^ Belgian Brilliance of Justine Henin
  39. ^ PHILOSOPHY, 6th Sense Academy
  40. ^ First Grand Slam for 6th Sense player, 6th Sense Academy (September 13, 2009)
  41. ^ "Justine Henin: Match Over". Time. 2008-05-14. http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1779500,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  42. ^ (Dutch) Justine Henin begint carrière als tv-ster Het Parool, March 19, 2009
  43. ^ "A Renewed And Improved Henin". New York Times Straight Sets Blog. 2010-01-20. http://straightsets.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/20/a-renewed-and-improved-henin/. 
  44. ^ a b c d "European Sports Journalists honor Henin and Federer", De Standaard, 2008-01-08. Retrieved on 2008-01-08.
  45. ^ UNESCO (2006-06-27). "Justine Henin-Hardenne appointed UNESCO Champion for Sport". Press release. http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=33425&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  46. ^ "The Results of the USSA athlete of the Year". Press release. http://www.ussa.edu/aoy/index.asp. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  47. ^ "Justine Reigns in Spain". Press release. http://www.justine-henin.be/public/shownews.asp?Lang=en&id=3363. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  48. ^ 2008 Laureus World Sports Awards Winners

External links


Simple English

File:Justine Henin
Justine Henin playing at Miami in 2007.

Justine Henin (born June 1, 1982) is a Belgian professional tennis player and a World Number 1. She has won seven Grand Slam singles titles, including four and three in a row at the French Open. She is two-time runner up at Wimbledon but has never won the title. Her mental toughness and her one-handed backhand are recognized by great tennis players. One of the greatest tennis player of all time, Billie Jean King has said that Justine is the best player of her generation. She was known as Justine Henin-Hardenne for a while, until she separated from her husband in 2007 and went back to her maiden name of Justine Henin. She retired in 2008 but announced her comeback on 22 September after seeing the success of her compatiot Kim Clijesters.

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