Lawn Tennis
World Number One Justine Henin Retires From Tennis
By Tripp Mateschitz, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 10:10am CST USA
World Number One Justine Henin Retires From Tennis
Photo by John Thys/AFP/Getty Images
LIMELETTE, Belgium (lawntennismag.com)óWorld number one Justine Henin of Belgium has retired from tennis, effective immediately she announced in a news conference Wednesday.

The 25 year old stands only 5 feet, 5 inches tall in a sport dominated by taller players but was able to use her mix of power and finesse to win seven grand slam titles, including winning the French Open the last three years.


"I am leaving as the world number one," Henin said, "and that is important and it is always better to go out at the top."

Henin won ten tournaments last year including the French Open and the US Open and finished the year with a WTA Tour best record of 63-4. But this year the Belgian lost three of her last seven matches while struggling with injury.

"It's the end of a wonderful adventure but it's something I have been thinking about for a long time," Henin told a news conference. "I am leaving as the world number one and that is important and it is always better to go out at the top."

"I have been driving my career based on an emotion but I didn't feel that emotion anymore since (2007) Madrid. At Madrid I felt I had reached the climax of my career. I had thought about taking a break, but in the end I didn't think this was the right decision."

"I decided on returning from (last week's tournament in) Berlin to stop now."

Henin won 41 titles since turning professional in 1999 but today has retired for various personal reasons. She took gold in 2004 at the Summer Olympic Games and was known for her mental toughness and for her aggressive and very beautiful, rare one-handed backhand and finesse game.

"I leave without any regrets and I know it is the right decision."

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