Justine Henin

Justine Henin

Infobox Tennis player
playername = Justine Henin |

country = BEL
residence = Monte Carlo, Monaco
datebirth = birth date and age|mf=yes|1982|6|1
placebirth = Liège, Belgium
height = height|m=1.67
weight = convert|57|kg|lb st|abbr=on|lk=on
turnedpro = January 1, 1999
retired = May 14, 2008
plays = Right; One-handed backhand
careerprizemoney = [http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/players/playerprofiles/Playerbio.asp?PlayerID=80350&
singlesrecord = 496–107
singlestitles = 41 WTA (11th in overall rankings)
highestsinglesranking = No. 1 (October 20, 2003)
AustralianOpenresult = W (2004)
FrenchOpenresult = W (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007)
Wimbledonresult = F (2001, 2006)
USOpenresult = W (2003, 2007)
Othertournaments = Yes
WTAChampionshipsresult = W (2006, 2007)
Olympicsresult = Gold medal (2004)
doublesrecord = 47–35
doublestitles = 2
highestdoublesranking = No. 23 (January 14, 2002)
updated = May 15, 2008

Audio|justine_henin.ogg|Justine Henin (known as Justine Henin Hardenne 2002–2007), (born June 1, 1982 in Liège) is a retired professional Belgian tennis player. On May 14, 2008, Henin announced her immediate retirement from professional tennis. She was 25 years old and ranked World No. 1 at the time of her retirement.cite web|url=http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1779500,00.html|title=Justine Henin: Match Over|publisher=TIME|date=2008-05-14|accessdate=2008-05-14] cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/7399963.stm|title=Henin announces shock retirement|publisher=BBC SPORT|date=2008-05-14|accessdate=2008-05-14] Billie Jean King has said that "pound for pound, [Henin] is the best tennis player of her generation." [ [http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/1/newsroom/stories/?ContentID=2255 Henin Retires From Sony Ericsson WTA Tour] ]

Henin won 41 WTA singles titles and more than US$19 million in prize money. Seven of those titles were Grand Slam singles titles, including four French Open titles, one Australian Open title, and two US Open titles. She also won the WTA Tour 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 cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/7401254.stm|title= Henin bows out at the top|publisher=BBC SPORT|date=2008-05-14|accessdate=2008-05-27] ) as the principal reasons for her success. [cite news
title = Resilient Henin takes U.S. Open title
work = The Hindu
date = 2003-09-07
url = http://www.hindu.com/2003/09/08/stories/2003090802482100.htm
accessdate = 2008-06-01
] [cite news
last = McClure
first = Geoff
title = Sporting Life
work = The Age
date = 2004-01-29
url = http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/01/28/1075088087727.html?from=storyrhs
accessdate = 2008-06-01

Playing style

Henin's playing style is well admired in tennis: John McEnroe once described Henin's tennis as "Federertennis," frequently describing Henin as "the Roger Federer of women's tennis."Fact|date=May 2008 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." [Interview with Barbara Schett, Eurosport, June 7, 2007]

Henin's single-handed backhand, which was by this time rare in both men's and women's tennis, was one of the most powerful and accurate in the game (Henin frequently recorded higher speeds off her single-handed backhand than many of leading players' double-handed backhand speedsFact|date=May 2008). Henin could hit both 'flat', topspin and slice variation off this wing and could strike winners from any part of the court. Her backhand could also be disguised, surprising her opponents with dropshots. Her slice backhand was one of the best in the world. However, Henin's forehand was 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, the majority of her winners typically being forehand groundstroke winners. In each 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, 30 - 17; semifinal versus Venus Williams 29 - 26; final versus Svetlana Kuznetsova, 25 - 11.

Despite her relatively small size, Henin had an extremely powerful serve, which has been measured at a top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph) [2005 Charleston] . Her average first serve speed in the 2007 US Open semifinal [first set] was 172 km/h (107 mph)Fact|date=May 2008 - the same as her opponent, Venus Williams (18 cm (seven inches) taller), who holds the world record for the fastest serve in a main draw Tour (or Grand Slam) event. Henin's serve frequently featured in the top 10 of the 'Women's Serve Speed Leaders' list, produced at every Grand Slam event throughout the year.

Henin's footwork, balance, and court coverage were exceptional - most notably on clay - and she was adept at changing from a defensive style to an aggressive one. Henin always had good to exceptional volleying skills, and used serve-and-volley play with more frequency towards the end of her career.

Personal life

Justine Henin was born on June 1, 1982. 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).Fact|date=May 2008 She also had an elder sister who was killed in a car accident before Justine was born.Fact|date=May 2008

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. At age six, Henin joined Tennis Club Ciney where her coaches discovered her talent immediately. She outclassed the other children in training sessions and was notably ambitious.

Henin's mother routinely took the young Henin across the border to France to watch the French Open. [cite news
last = Serras
first = M.
coauthors =
title = Justine lanza la raqueta al cielo
work = El Pais
language = Spanish
date = 2003-06-08
url = http://www.elpais.com/articulo/deportes/Justine/lanza/raqueta/cielo/elpepidep/20030608elpepidep_3/Tes/
accessdate = 2006-08-29
] Henin saw the 1992 final involving her idol Steffi Graf and Monica Seles. Although Graf lost, the experience impressed Henin, who apparently told her mother, "One day I will play here and I will win."

In 1995, shortly after her mother's death, Henin met her coach Carlos Rodriguez who guided her career until her retirement. 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.

On November 16, 2002, Henin married Pierre-Yves in the "Château de Lavaux-Sainte-Anne". [cite news
last = Bedell
first = Geraldine
title = Face to face
work = The Observer
date = 2003-10-05
url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2003/oct/05/tennis.features
accessdate = 2006-08-29
] [cite web
title = Hometown marriage for tennis star Henin
date = 2002-11-16
url = http://www.justine-henin.net/article.asp?id=191
accessdate = 2008-06-01
] On January 4, 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 [ [http://www.justine-henin.be/public/shownews.asp?Lang=en&id=2880 Justine Henin - The Official Site] ] [ [http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news;_ylt=AvYOTEcuIJnRoAU1VRNIiLs4v7YF?slug=ap-henin-hardenne-comeback&prov=ap&type=lgns] Dead link|date=February 2008] and she also resumed her maiden name, Justine Henin, instead of "Justine Henin-Hardenne". [cite news
title = Justine va reprendre son nom de jeune fille
work = Le Soir
date = 2007-01-04
url = http://www.lesoir.be/sports/tennis/2007/01/04/article_justine_va_reprendre_son_nom_de_jeune_fille.shtml
accessdate = 2008-06-01
] 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.

On November 30, 2007, the Belgian launched her own tennis academy "Club Justine N1"Fact|date=May 2008 (in French, "N1" is pronounced almost exactly the same as "Henin").

Tennis career

Early career

Henin, known as "Juju" to many of her fans, was coached by Carlos Rodriguez of Argentina since the age of 14. Fact|date=June 2008 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.

Henin established herself as a major competitor in 2001 when she reached the women's singles semifinals of the French Open and the women's singles final of Wimbledon, losing to Venus Williams. 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 fifth. 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.


Henin started the year as the fifth ranked player in the world but ended the year as the World No. 1.

Henin started the year by losing to Kim Clijsters in the semifinals of the Medibank International in Sydney. Henin then reached the semifinals of the Australian Open for the first time where she lost to Venus Williams 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 Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida. 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. 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 dehydration overnight, but returned to play in the final the next day Fact|date=June 2008. In the final, Henin defeated Clijsters in straight sets. 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 Dokic. This win caused Henin to become the thirteenth World No. 1 on the Women's Tennis Association computer on October 20, 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 Amelie Mauresmo 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3.

Henin was named the International Tennis Federation's women's singles World Champion for 2003.


Henin started 2004 by winning a warm-up tournament in Sydney. She then won the Australian Open in Melbourne, defeating Kim Clijsters 6–3, 4–6, 6–3.

As of March 22, 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 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 against 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.

Henin returned to competition in August and won the women's singles gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, defeating Amelie Mauresmo of France in the final 6–3, 6–3. Henin reached the gold medal match by defeating Anastasia Myskina in a semifinal after having trailed 1–5 in the final set, which she won 8–6. Her medal ceremony was attended by fellow countryman and IOC president Jacques Rogge.

In September 2004, she failed to defend her US Open title, losing to Nadia Petrova in the fourth round. This defeat caused her to lose the number one 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.


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 March 25, 2005, after more than six months away from competition, Henin returned to the WTA circuit at the NASDAQ-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Florida. 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, 6–1, 6–1, 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 stretching 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.

With her French Open victory, Henin moved from number 12 to number seven in the women's singles rankings. She 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 and was a perfect 24-0 in her 2005 clay court season.

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. With this defeat, she became the first French Open champion in the open era to lose in the opening round of Wimbledon. 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 semi final but lost to Clijsters 7-5, 6-1.

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 the 2005 season.

In 2005, TENNIS Magazine placed her in 31st place in its list of 40 Greatest Players of the TENNIS era.

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."


In January, Henin returned to competitive tennis in a 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 Amelie 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 was criticized by the press 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." She became only the second player (after Stefan Edberg), and the first woman, to retire from a Grand Slam singles final 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, 5–1. Henin also lost in the second round of the Tier I tournament in Key Biscayne, Florida to Meghann Shaughnessy 7–5, 6–4.

On clay, Henin failed to defend 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 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 4–6, 6–1, 7–6(5).

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.

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 6–4, 6–4 in the final after Henin had defeated Davenport in the quarterfinals and Jelena Jankovic 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 WTA Tour 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.


On January 4, 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 to Czech Lucie Safarova 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 Amelie 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 March 19 regained the World No. 1 ranking.

At the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, 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 Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine in the final. Later, at the Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin, Henin won her quarterfinal against Jelena Jankovic 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 Jankovic in the semifinals 6–2, 6–2. In the final, Henin defeated Ana Ivanovic in straight sets to claim her third consecutive French Open title, equalling Monica 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, 7–5, 6–7(4), 7–6(2).

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.Fact|date=January 2008

In August, Henin won the Tier I Rogers Cup in Toronto, defeating Jankovic in the final. The tournament championship was Henin's 35th on the WTA tour, moving her past Kim 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. She then defeated Venus Williams in a semifinal 7–6(4), 6–4 and became only the second player to defeat both Williams sisters in the same Grand Slam tournament (after Martina Hingis at the 2001 Australian Open). 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. On October 9, 2007, Henin mathematically clinched the year-end World No. 1 rankingFact|date=January 2008 for the third time in her career, having done so previously in 2003 and 2006.

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, Jankovic, and Bartoli. In the semifinals, Henin defeated Ivanovic 6–4, 6–4. In the final, Henin overcame Sharapova 5–7, 7–5, 6–3cite news | author = Women's Tennis Association | title = Another Perfect Ending for World No.1 Henin | url = http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/1/newsroom/stories/?ContentID=1900 | date = 2007-11-11 | accessdate = 2008-06-01 | publisher = Women's Tennis Association ] in a match that lasted over three hours and twenty minutes. The victory extended Henin's winning streak to 25 matches and made her the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1989 to go undefeated in the second half of the year (after Wimbledon).Fact|date=January 2008 In addition to this record, 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 started the year as the World No. 1. January 14 marked Henin's 100th career week as World No. 1, and on March 10, 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 Ivanovic 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 Maria 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 Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida. 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.


Henin announced her immediate retirement from professional tennis on May 14, 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. 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. Commenting on Henin's retirement, the then ATP World No. 1, Roger Federer, said, "The game of tennis has suffered a great loss today."Fact|date=June 2008

Head-to-head record against other players

As of the end of the 2008 Sony Ericsson Open, only three active players had a winning head-to-head record against Henin. Venus Williams was 7–2, Serena Williams was 7–6, and Lucie Safarova was 1–0 against the Belgian.

Henin had a winning head-to-head record against several other players who were, at one time or another, ranked in the top 10: 16–2 versus Svetlana Kuznetsova, 9–0 versus Jelena Jankovic, 8–2 versus Elena Dementieva, 6–3 versus Maria Sharapova, 5–1 versus Dinara Safina, 4–0 versus Ana Ivanovic, 3–0 versus Anna Chakvetadze, 3–1 versus Marion Bartoli, and 3–2 versus Daniela Hantuchova. Henin also had a winning head-to-head record against many of the former world number ones she had played: 12–10 versus Kim Clijsters, 8–6 versus Amelie Mauresmo, 7–5 versus Lindsay Davenport, and 5–2 versus Jennifer Capriati.


* UEPS European Sportswoman of the Year. [http://www.standaard.be/Artikel/Detail.aspx?artikelId=DMF08012008_071 "European Sports Journalists honor Henin and Federer"] , "De Standaard", 2008-01-08. Retrieved on 2008-01-08.] 2003
* Belgian Sportswoman of the Year.
* ITF World Champion.
* UEPS European Sportswoman of the Year. 2004
* WTA Player of the Year (for 2003).
* Belgian Sportswoman of the Year.2005
* Family Circle/State Farm "Player Who Makes A Difference".
* Whirlpool 6th Sense Player of the Year.2006
* Appointed UNESCO Champion for Sport. [cite press release
title = Justine Henin-Hardenne appointed UNESCO Champion for Sport
publisher = UNESCO
date = 2006-06-27
url = http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=33425&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html
accessdate = 2008-06-01
* 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. 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. [cite press release
title = The Results of the USSA athlete of the Year
url = http://www.ussa.edu/aoy/index.asp
accessdate = 2008-06-01
* EFE Sportsperson of the Year. [cite press release
title = Justine Reigns in Spain
url =http://www.justine-henin.be/public/shownews.asp?Lang=en&id=3363
accessdate = 2008-06-01
* UEPS European Sportswoman of the Year. 2008
* Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year [ [http://www.laureus.com/awards/2008/winners 2008 Laureus World Sports Awards Winners] ]
* WTA Player of the Year (for 2007).

Career statistics

Grand Slam finals


Wins (7)

Career WTA tour finals (60)

ingles (57)

Wins (41)

Career ITF singles finals (7)

Wins (7)

: *As of February 21, 2008.

Notable matches

* 2003 Australian Open fourth round: 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. [ [http://www.tennisroundup.com/events/2003/2003_AustralianOpen/index.htm#AusDay7 Australian Open review] ] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/australian_open/2003/2673211.stm Henin triumphs in thriller] ]
* 2003 U.S. Open semifinal: defeated Jennifer Capriati 4–6, 7–5, 7–6(4). Capriati was two points away from victory eleven times in a match that stretched to midnight. After her victory, Henin went to the hospital for rehydration treatment. The next day, she defeated fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters for the title. [ [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/open/2003-09-05-womens-semis_x.htm Henin-Hardenne tops Capriati in classic to face Clijsters in final] ]
* 2004 Athens Olympics semifinal: defeated Anastasia Myskina 7–5, 5–7, 8–6. After months of layoff due to a virus, Henin competed in the Olympics. Henin rallied from 5–1 down in the third set to defeat reigning French Open champion Myskina. She went on to capture the gold medal. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/sport/content/200408/s1181850.htm Molik falls as Henin sets gold standard] ] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympics_2004/tennis/3583968.stm Henin-Hardenne into final] ]
* 2005 French Open fourth round: defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova 7–6(6), 4–6, 7–5. Henin saved two match points to earn a quarterfinal spot. In winning the tournament, she became only the second woman to win the French Open after saving a match point. (Myskina accomplished the feat a year before, also against Kuznetsova.) [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/low/tennis/4592641.stm Brave Henin-Hardenne battles on] ]
* 2005 Wimbledon first round: lost to Eleni Daniilidou 7–6 (8), 2–6, 7–5. It was the first time that a reigning French Open champion failed to win a match at Wimbledon. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/4116834.stm Henin-Hardenne makes shock exit] ] [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/06/22/SPG0ODC8LH1.DTL Wimbledon Notebook: Eleni Daniilidou's win of a lifetime] ]
* 2006 Australian Open final: lost to Amelie Mauresmo 6–1, 2–0. Henin retired from the match with stomach pain. This was only the fourth Grand Slam women's singles final that ended by retirement since 1900 and the first in the open era. Henin stated afterwards that she feared possible injury had she continued to play. She was widely criticized by tennis commentators and writers for not finishing the match. [cite news | last = Collins | first = Bud | title = Henin-Hardenne took the queasy way out | work = The Boston Globe | date = 2006-01-29 | url = http://www.boston.com/sports/other_sports/tennis/articles/2006/01/29/henin_hardenne_took_the_queasy_way_out/ | accessdate = 2008-02-11] [cite news | author = Shriver, Pam | title = Shriver: Henin-Hardenne's reputation is tarnished | work = ESPN.com | date = 2006-09-29 | url = http://proxy.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/aus06/columns/story?id=2310543 | accessdate = 2008-02-11 ]
* 2006 Wimbledon final: lost to Mauresmo 2–6, 6–3, 6–4. The final round was notable for featuring two finesse players who used their all-court games, a break from the previous 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. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/5161122.stm Mauresmo clinches Wimbledon title] ] [ [http://www.nysun.com/sports/amelie-mauresmo-the-sentimental-favorite-to-win/35575/ Amelie Mauresmo the Sentimental Favorite to Win Wimbledon] ]
* 2007 U.S. Open semifinal: defeated Venus Williams 7–6(2), 6–4. 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 reach the final and eventually won the title.cite news | author = Neil Schlecht | title = Two Sisters Down, a Russian to Go for Henin | url = http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/match_reports/2007-09-07/200709071189220679750.html | publisher = U.S. Open | date = 2007-09-07 | accessdate = 2008-02-11 Dead link|date=June 2008]
*2007 WTA Tour Championships, third round robin match: defeated Marion Bartoli 6–0, 6–0. 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, she took full advantage of the fact that Bartoli was unprepared. Bartoli did not know she had to replace Serena Williams until several hours before the match.cite news | author = Eds. | title = World No. 1 Justine Henin Crushes Marion Bartoli, Ends Round Robin with Double Bagel | url = http://www.onthebaseline.com/2007/11/08/justine-henin-crushes-bartoli-ends-round-robin-with-double-bagel/ | publisher = On The Baseline | date = 2007-11-08 | accessdate = 2008-02-11 ]
*2007 WTA Tour Championships final: defeated Maria Sharapova 5–7, 7–5, 6–3 in 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.cite news | title = Another Perfect Ending for World No.1 Henin | url = http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/3/newsroom/stories/?ContentID=1900 | publisher = WTA Tour | date = 2007-11-11 | accessdate = 2008-02-11 ]
* 2008 Australian Open quarterfinal: lost to Sharapova 6–4, 6–0. Before this match, Henin had won 32 consecutive matches since the 2007 Wimbledon semifinals. Sharapova, who eventually won the title, was the first player to win a 6–0 set against Henin since the 2002 French Open.
* 2008 Sony Ericsson Open quarterfinal: lost to Serena Williams 6–2, 6–0. This was the worst defeat of a reigning World No. 1 since Martina Hingis lost to Jelena Dokic in 1999 at Wimbledon with the same score.Fact|date=May 2008

ee also

*List of female tennis players
*List of Grand Slam Women's Singles champions
*Belgium at the 2004 Summer Olympics


External links

* [http://www.justine-henin.be/ Official site]
*ITF female profile|number=20010490
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/7399963.stm Henin announces shock retirement]

NAME = Henin, Justine
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Belgian tennis player
DATE OF BIRTH = June 1, 1982
PLACE OF BIRTH = Liège, Belgium

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