I am happy to announce that we have the winner of the Wilson racquet with Justine Henin’s autograph: Leo's answer to our question was voted as the best one. Congratulations, Leo!
Twenty-six entrants qualified for winning the prize by completing both the steps requested. I’m very sorry that some of you provided in-depth answers to our question, but forgot to subscribe to Women’s Tennis Blog, and hence didn’t qualify.
Here’s the winning answer to "How will the comeback of Justine Henin change/affect the women's tennis scene in 2010?":
Thanks for having this contest.
The return of Justine Henin in 2010 will surely change the landscape of women's tennis. When she retired in 2008, the leadership of women's tennis is in a limbo. There was no assertive leader of the group. Gone was the time when the world no.1 would assert her supremacy in the game. Nobody question her accomplishments. But since the departure of Justine, a lot of questions were raised in women's tennis. The inconsistencies of Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Dinara Safina, the question of motivation of the part of the Williams sisters and the injury problems of Maria Sharapova to name a few. To put it simply, women's tennis lack excitement and intensity.
So what could Justine bring to the table now that she will be back full time in the women's tour? The answer: a lot…..
Here are some things that we can look forward to in 2010:
1. The return of Justine Henin will surely challenge those who are in the top 10. I'm pretty sure, the Williams sisters, Russian Armada and the Serbian ladies will prepare really hard this off-season to stay in shape and polish their game since the true queen of tennis will be back in full force.
2. Her game. Justine's game is totally different compared to those who are in the tour right now. Who would forget the silkiness of her forehand and the exquisite execution of her backhand? Even male player's are impressed of how she executed her one-handed backhand to perfection. When Justine retired, Ana Ivanovic was quoted as saying that Justine brings the best in her and other players and that Justine was a very different player. Fans don’t just want to watch tennis with glamour but they also wanted to see tennis with a different twist, athleticism combined with mental game on hand.
3. Rivalry. Fans flock to the court to see great rivalries. Who would not forget the rivalries of Justine against Kim, against the William sisters and against Maria Sharapova. Her matches with them are surely a tennis classic. What Justine sets it apart from other players is her ability to use her head all the time. Remember the French open match against Svetlana Kuznetsova? She was 1 point away from exiting the competition when she suddenly turned the game around in her favor. Then, there are those tight matches, were you can see that despite the pressure she still can keep her cool and execute her strategies very well.
4. The Hunger to win. The elusive Wimbledon title is considered by Justine as the main reason why she wanted to return to the women’s tour. This will make tennis in 2010 very exciting since she will challenge the dominance of the Williams sisters in the grass courts of Wimbledon. Justine is not a kind of player who only do the talking all the time. She tries to match it up with the right plan and strategies in order to get what she wants.
5. Justine is an exception to the rule. Justine Henin is not a conventional player. She doesn’t have the height to produce power tennis but she compensates that with sheer determination and guts to beat those who taller and bigger than her.
I can’t wait to watch tennis in 2010. With these things in mind, Justin Henin will be once again a force to be reckon with in women’s tennis.
Leo, congratulations once again for your great answer! It is very detailed and I especially like how it is well organized and structured. I will contact you write away so that you can provide me with your address. Of course, I will pay for the shipping.
I would use this opportunity to thank all the participants in the contest for making it so successful by investing their energy and writing great comments about the long-anticipated return of Justine Henin. Then I would thank fellow tennis bloggers from On the Baseline, Down the Line, Women Who Serve and Forty Deuce, and of course rising Serbian tennis star world No.138 Bojana Jovanovski for being so ready to help me out in choosing the winner. Last but not least, thank you Sony Ericsson WTA Tour for providing me with the signed Wilson racquet, and your continuous great cooperation with Women's Tennis Blog.
I hope we'll have more similar contests soon! Actually, I know we’ll have a smaller one in the near future. 😉