A star comes back
Published: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - 12:37am
So, I'm not a huge tennis fan but I do enjoy watching the Grand Slams on TV.
I was really excited when I realized, about two weeks ago, that the Australian Open had begun. As I read through The New York Times, I saw the words "Henin beats Flipken." My first reaction was "Flipken's a really interesting name," but then I realized that it said Henin, as in Justine Henin, the player from Belgium.
I was shocked. What? When had Henin returned to playing tennis? She had taken an early retirement in 2008, something about how she was emotionally drained and didn't want to play anymore.
See, Justine Henin (previously known as Henin-Hardenne before her divorce) is definitely my favorite women's tennis player. I was really sad when I heard that she had left the sport. Along with the Williams sisters, Henin is one of the few people in the world of women's tennis who consistently play well. In fact, when Henin retired, she was ranked No. 1.
She also doesn't look as strong as Williams or Sharapova, or even Kim Clijsters. In fact, looking at a picture of Henin you would never guess that she is a professional athlete.
In her first tournament after coming back from retirement, the Brisbane International in Australia, Henin made it to the finals before losing to Clijsters, another Belgian who has returned to tennis after a break.
This year's Australian Open was Henin's first Grand Slam tournament after her comeback, although, watching her play, one would never have guessed that. Henin kept defeating opponent after opponent, from Elena Dementieva to Nadia Petrova until she reached the finals against Serena Williams.
Unfortunately, she ended up losing, but it was obvious from how well she played that she has had no trouble returning to top form. I wouldn't be surprised, in maybe the French Open or Wimbledon, if Henin ends up adding another Grand Slam title to the seven she already has to her credit.