Justine Henin retires again, elbow injury to blame


Only a year after her comeback, Justine Henin announced her second retirement, once again out of the blue, although not as surprising as last time. The main reason for the Belgian’s retirement No.2 is her right elbow injury, which has troubled her since her fall during the match against Kim Clijsters in the fourth round of Wimbledon 2010, and it’s been further damaged during the Australian Open.

In the period between June 2010 and January 2011, Henin didn’t play competitive tennis, except for the mixed doubles event, the Hopman Cup in Australia, where she reached the final. At the 2011 Australian Open, Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated her in the third round (Henin’s earliest Grand Slam exit since 2005).

Here’s a short extract from Henin’s official statement (thanks, Migi, for sharing it with me!):

After my crash at Wimbledon in June, I knew it would be difficult to come back. But I had decided to keep playing and to give everything to overcome the injury. In these recent months I have rarely been spared from the pain, those last months were very hard. Time has passed, and the doubts have grown, and only return to the courts would give me answers. Not the answer I was hoping for… unfortunately. I suffered a lot the last week and every day gave me more and more pain, but I believed that my will would take the upper hand. Today, the examinations are clearly and and the doctors formally, my elbow is too fragile and hurt so that my passion and my profession at high level cannot continue to exist.

So unlike last time, when Henin’s reasons for retirement were mostly in her head, she wanted to dedicate her life to other things and not only tennis, this time it’s purely physical. Note: at the moment of her first retirement Henin was ranked No.1, now she’s  No.13. (photo: Ralf Reinecke)


  1. I didn’t think it was a good idea when she returned, but now I’m pretty sad she is forced to retire like this, I had no idea it was so serious:/

  2. I dind’t understand why she returns.. I thought that she decided that because she wanted to demostrate that she can be as good as kim clijsters.. but she falls
    she had an unlucky return winning only 2 small tittles an losing with girls whith no ranking
    justine.. you’re not kim clijsters.. she i’s unic.. she retires and made a family..and later she returns in her better form..none can be like her..

  3. A bit of respect would do some good,but anyway, I won’t waste time with useless arguments.
    Justine’s retirement is a huge loss for tennis, she was the best player out there. I admire and will miss her professionalism and will to make the best out of herself in her life. Hopefully she’ll get over the sadness soon and continues doing other interesting projects. Or maybe start a family, who knows
    Ah, well, health comes first. Au revoir, to a great champione 🙁

  4. I agree with Marine. Justine was my fav player since Steffi retired.

    It is a shame her career could not have ended when she chose, rather than forced through injury

  5. Henin just wanted to copy Kimmie and make a grand come back. Isn’t it ironic though that Henin got a gimpy arm playing the great one? Ah, just go home and count your money!

  6. I don’t like Henin at all, but have great respect for her in her “first career” when she was an excellent player. And admit it is a loss to the tour.

    However I think it was quite rude of her to announce her retirement during the Australian Open, and draw most attention away from the spectacular Semi Final matches. Couldn’t she have waited until after the Open? Then again she probably thought it would be better for her image to retire as world number 13 not 30-something.


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