Justine Henin, top-ranked women’s tennis player, has shocked the world by announcing her retirement on Wednesday. Why did this come up so suddenly? The Belgian had mentioned she considered retirement and gave a time frame of two to five years, but who would have expected the world No.1 to retire just ten days after those statements.
Ok, this year hasn’t been so good for Henin, at least not by her standards, but it was far from being lost. I mean, she suffered some early losses and upsets, but she was still the best player out there in the majority of cases.
Anyway, I can’t say I'm stunned because I still can't believe the news, it hasn't reached my reason yet that Justine Henin has retired.
The 25-year-old Henin, winner of 41 WTA singles titles, stated that the cause of her retirement is that she feels old for playing tennis, her body doesn’t recover so fast any more. Also, quite understandably, the seven-times Grand Slam champion has achieved everything she could have dreamed of in tennis, and it was time for her to shift her attention to other things in life.
This is the end of a child's dream. I have experienced everything I could have. I have lived completely for tennis. I am relieved and proud of what I achieved… I'm young in life, but starting to get old on the tour. I'm growing up and I need different things. Even physically, I don't recover as well as I did when I was 20. That's normal. Now I've been playing tennis for 20 years and it's been my whole life but as a woman, as you get older, you need to think about the future. A new future is ahead and I won't go back on this decision.
Hmm, could she be pregnant? These statements make me suspect that, the "as a woman, as you get older, you need to think about the future" part in particular.
Justine Henin’s long-time coach Carlos Rodriguez said that the reason for her retirement was that she had lost her drive for success after reconciling with her estranged family.
"She used tennis as an outlet for her emotions and finally with her life now reconciled, she no longer has the fire that drove her to success," said Rodriguez.
The last match Henin played was against Dinara Safina last week in Berlin, and the Belgian suffered a shock defeat in the third round.
Now that the world No.1 has retired, No.2 Maria Sharapova will return to the top of the rankings. (source: BBC)