Justine Henin

Justine Henin, 25, Retires from Tennis

May 14, 2008 05:26 PM
by Liz Colville
Henin, currently the top-ranked women’s player in the world, announced her retirement at a press conference Wednesday.

30-Second Summary

Justine Henin, the 25-year-old tennis champion from Belgium, told the press, “I leave without any regrets and I know it is the right decision.”

Henin has won seven grand-slam titles since her WTA debut in 1999 and leaves with a 493-107 win-loss record. She is the first female tennis player to retire while ranked number one in the world, writes British newspaper The Guardian.

At 5 feet 6 inches tall, Henin was one of the shortest women on the pro circuit. She is known for her exceptional one-handed backhand, which has helped her compete with—and beat—the likes of Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova, both powerful servers. She coined the expression "Impossible is nothing," now the famous slogan of Adidas, her sponsor.

Henin’s quick footwork and shot precision helped her win four French Open titles, three consecutively, as well as two U.S. Open titles and one Australian Open title. Wimbledon eluded her, though she has been a finalist there twice.

In 2007, Henin enjoyed one of her strongest years, winning 11 titles. But she has been struggling in 2008, citing fatigue during her retirement announcement.

Fellow players and commentators expressed shock at the star’s decision. Steve Bierley, The Guardian’s sports blogger, speculated that a poorly managed women’s professional tour is to blame.

Henin’s announcement follows golfer Annika Sorenstam’s retirement, which was made official May 13.

Headline Link: ‘Henin Announces Retirement from Tennis’

Background: ‘The Lonely Life of Justine Henin-Hardenne’

Reactions: Players and commentators reflect on Henin’s departure

Reference: Biography of Justine Henin and 2007 accomplishments

Related Topics: Annika Sorenstam retires from golf


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