Justine Henin's second career came to an end, but not because she wanted to pursue other things – the Belgian had an elbow injury which cut her tennis plans short and now she is calling her state mourning.
Here’s how Henin is feeling right now:
I regard ending my career more like a sentence that's been handed down than a decision I've made. The will is there, but physically I can't [carry on]. Now I have to mourn the end of my career.
And she further explains the serious nature of her injury:
I've had to deal with a lot of injuries throughout my career but this time, at 29, I just can't go on. You have to be reasonable about things. When I came back from Australia, I had consultations with three different doctors. It got to the point that I needed 10 minutes in the morning just to get my elbow functional. The ligament wasn't solid enough to handle the intensity of the game. I'm going to miss all the great feelings you have as a professional tennis player. I hope I'll pick the racquet up again one day, but more than anything I want to live a normal life.
Earlier this month, Henin was in Antwerp, alongside Kim Clijsters, Els Callens, and Laurence Courtois, to receive a Fed Cup trophy won in Madrid ten years ago. There was a standing ovation by 10,000 spectators, and the seven-time Grand Slam champion expressed how she was going through a difficult period, missing tennis. (photo: Ralf Reinecke, sources: BBC, Henin's official website)