Archive | Wednesday , May 14 , 2008

Sad Day For Women’s Tennis World Number One Justine Henin Retires!!!

Well this is shocking news the world number one female tennis player Justine Henin has retired from Women’s Tennis! Justine Henin is a great champion and I am certain if she continued playing she would win more grand slams. Why didn’t Justine just say she’s going to take a break from the game? If Justine needs a break from Women’s Tennis then she should take a break. But why retire at the tender age of  twenty five? It makes absolutely no sense at all!

Justine managed to win seven grand slam singles titles but she never won Wimbledon.  Serena Williams is the only woman in her generation to have won all four grand slams. Justine has been close to winning Wimbledon but she always fades away in the semifinals and finals. Last year Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli shocked Justine Henin in the women’s semifinals 1-6 7-5 6-1.  I was shocked because Justine blasted Bartoli in Eastbourne right before Wimbledon on grass in straight sets. I seemed to me that sometimes Justine has a hard time dealing with pressure and she chokes. Justine is actually very fragile. Justine managed to reach the Wimbledon finals twice only to lose to Venus Williams and Amelie Mauresmo.

Justine claims she has been thinking about retiring for a while.  My goodness, I can’t believe this! Justine  said in a press conference today in Belgium she has lost her “motivation” to continue playing. Justine’s game was beautiful to watch she had so much variety in her game she could come to net, hit slice backhands or topspin backhands. Justine also moved very well on the court and had a decent serve. Justine also overcame a height disadvantage because she is only five foot five she is smaller then most of the women on the WTA tour. Despite Justine’s small size she had a huge serve and incredibly powerful groundstrokes.

I think the reason Justine is “retiring” is because she wasn’t able to duplicate the incredible success of 2007. Despite Henin’s variety the truth is if the power players are serving big and hitting the ball consistently Henin is at a distinct disadvantage. The taller women can bully Henin on the tennis court.

At the 2008 Australian Open Maria Sharapova destroyed Henin 6-4 6-0 in the quarterfinals. At the 2008 Miami Masters Serena Williams blasted Henin off the court 6-2 6-0. It is clear that when the power players such as Sharapova and Serena Williams can overpower Henin. Henin is low on confidence right now and that’s why she’s quitting because she is losing.

Last week Justine lost to Dinara Safina 5-7 6-3 6-1 in the third round of the German Open. It was a huge upset and since clay is Justine’s favorite surface I am sure she was disappointed. But quit? Why the sudden change of heart why can’t Justine wait until the end of the year? Where is Justine’s desire? If Justine is not injured she shouldn’t just quit and walk away from the game so prematurely.

The media make this big deal about how much of a “fighter” Justine Henin is but she appears to be very weak. Henin gives up too easily and now Justine is “retiring” because she is in a slump. Give me a break. The Williams Sisters, Monica Seles, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras have all had slumps.

I remember in the mid 1990s Agassi ranking had dropped out of the top 100 on the ATP Tour because he was overweight and lacked focus. Andre didn’t give up he lost the weight trained very hard because he loved the game of tennis. Andre believed he still had the potential to be great and he was right. Andre went back to the challenger level which is below the pro level to build his confidence. Andre had the determination to fight through the rough times. Where is Justine Henin’s determination? I cannot believe this is such shocking news!

Now Justine Henin has “retired” from the game the French Open is wide open on the women’s side. I think the other top women of course will be sad to see Henin leave the game but they want to win the French Open. The opportunity is huge everyone wants to win the French Open and now the other women have their chance to win. Justine Henin was the most dominant clay court champion this decade.

Henin won the French Open four times in the past five years. I will admit I am not a Justine Henin fan I am a tennis fan. I think Justine brought a lot of flare to women’s tennis she was also the nemesis of the Williams Sisters their rivalry was exciting for the game. I think its sad because now the weaker competition is going to come through and win the big events.

I don’t get it? So Justine is going to retire just because she lost four matches this year? Where is the champion spirit? Where is the desire to win despite struggles? Everyone struggles in life because that’s life. At least Justine has a job that pays well. Playing professional tennis is a privilege Justine is blessed with incredible talent but obviously she doesn’t have the heart of a champion anymore.

You don’t see Roger Federer talking about retirement just because he lost six matches this year. Roger Federer is the most dominant player to ever play the game. Justine Henin was never dominant like Roger Federer and yet she’s just going to give up. Why now? The media are breathing down Roger’s throat saying he’s on the decline and picking on him. Roger has endured so much negativity but Roger firmly believes he will be back on top because he’s a fighter and he’s a winner. Roger is in a slump but he’s not giving up because he loves the game of tennis.

However, Roger isn’t giving up. I have seen Justine’s coach Carlos Rodriguez and he looks very frail and thin he looks sick. I could be wrong but I think Justine’s decision to “retire” has something to do with her coach. I think this is a bit premature on Justine’s part.

I just cannot believe Justine is going to “quit” right before her favorite grand slam the French Open. Justine is the three time defending women’s champion in Paris. I think this abrupt decision is bizarre and weird something is going on but she won’t say what it is. I don’t believe this is the last time we will see Justine Henin I honestly don’t. Justine loves tennis too much she should of just said she needed a “break” from the game or something but to say she’s going to “retire” is too extreme she is only twenty five years old.

Is Justine ill or sick? Where is the fight? Venus and Serena had to deal with the death of their sister Yetunde Price, multiple physical injures, the American tennis critics attacking them in the press and on television, and countless losses. Venus and Serena aren’t quitting because they are fighters they believe they can achieve more in tennis.Justine is number one and she’s just going to walk away from the game? I think this is sad on Justine’s part but it is even sadder that she obviously doesn’t believe in her abilities. All champions have “slumps” when they are not playing well it happens it is a part of sport. Justine has a tendency to give up though.

Does anyone remember the 2006 Australian Open women’s final? Justine was losing to Amelie Mauresmo 6-1 2-0 and she retired in the finals. The media bashed Justine because it appeared she just didn’t have the fighting spirit. Well its Justine’s decision but I don’t think she’s thought this through properly this is too impulsive to just quit immediately.


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