Justine HeninTennis Player
Born: 1 June 1982
Birthplace: Liege, Belgium
Best known as: Winner of the French Open, 2005-07
Justine Henin won seven Grand Slam tournaments during her career and was the top-ranked women's tennis player in the world when she retired (temporarily, as it turned out) in 2008. Justine Henin won her very first WTA Tour event as a pro, at Antwerp in 1999, becoming only the fifth person ever to win her WTA debut. Her breakout year was 2001, when she made the semifinals of the French Open (losing to fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters
) and then the singles finals at Wimbledon (losing to Venus Williams
). By the end of that year she was ranked #7 in the world and was a sports hero in her home country. In 2003 she began a stirring rivalry with Clijsters in Grand Slam tournaments: she defeated Clijsters in the finals of the 2003 French Open and the 2003 U.S. Open, and then again in the finals of the 2004 Australian Open. Justine Henin also won the French Open three straight years, from 2005-2007, and won the U.S. Open in 2007. Henin surprised her fans by retiring from tennis in May of 2008, saying "It's something I have been thinking about for a long time." However, she returned to action in 2010, saying she was ready to compete again. Henin made it all the way to the finals in her first post-retirement major, the 2010 Australian Open, before losing to Serena Williams
6-4, 3-6, 6-2. She played well that year but then retired again in January of 2011, saying that a persistent elbow injury meant that she couldn't keep playing.
Extra credit: Justine Henin is 5 feet, 5 3/4 inches (1.67 meters) tall, according to her WTA profile... Justine Henin has never won at Wimbledon, but was a finalist there in 2001 and 2006... She was a finalist in all four Grand Slam tournaments in 2006, winning the French Open and losing in the other three finals... Henin married Pierre-Yves Hardenne on 16 November 2002. The couple separated in January of 2007 and divorced later that year. During their marriage, Henin was known professionally as Justine Henin-Hardenne, but after the separation she changed her name back to Justine Henin.
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