Henin Retirement Statement by WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott

by Staff | May 14th, 2008, 10:48 am

Statement of Larry Scott, CEO, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, in re Justine Henin Retirement Announcement:
“Justine Henin will be remembered as one of the all-time great champions in women’s tennis, and a woman who made up for her lack of size with a will to win and fighting spirit that was second to none. It is rare that an athlete leaves at the very top of her game in this day and age, but Justine has always played by her own rules, in the very best sense of those words.

History will remember Justine for not only her seven Grand Slam titles and three years finishing as the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s World No. 1, but for one of the most graceful backhands the sport has ever seen and an ability to overcome any and all obstacles placed in her way on the tennis court and off.

This is a sad day for our sport and for her millions of fans around the world, but I know that I speak for so many in wishing Justine the very best in her future endeavors and hope that she will stay connected to the sport to which she gave so much.”

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29 Comments for Henin Retirement Statement by WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott

jane Says:

Wow, I mean, wow. Kind of sad to see her go so suddenly. Anyone know what prompted this? The knee??

jane Says:

Could you change the picture on the front page? Henin divorced that nasty man. Let’s see a picture of her as the champ that she is, maybe hitting a backhand?

Lucy Says:

I was never a big fan, but this is both shocking and sad. One thing I always liked about her was she went on court looking like an athlete – not a madeup, bejeweled kewpie doll.

joe Says:

Yeh, the news is pretty shocking. Going to be really sad to not see her compete anymore. Shes going to be dearly missed, and the french open only weeks away. I thought she might have announced that she would retire after the season end, or even at the french open, where she had her most success. I was hoping the rumours published this morning were false, but sadly they werent :(

I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:


andrea Says:

i’m going to miss that perfectly lethal backhand. i bet you the only one who is happy with this news is jelena jankovic….

st Says:

i bet 200 percent that it’s a beginning of a big coming out party.

fed is afraid Says:

i’m sure serena is dancing in the streets.

Dr. Death Says:

Do not go gentle into that good night
rage, rage against the dying of the light.(Easy one to find; but don’t cheat!)

Jane — Indeed, too bad as this was one of the few women that provided any heat in watching women’s tennis. I have seen the almost dead play better tennis than what is on that tour.

As to her backhand, we can all learn from that. Check U tube I remember a couple of great clips. Notice how she changes the grip on her racquet as soon as she knows she will hit a back hand. It is the perfect use of her non-dominant hand.

jane Says:

Dr. Death – Dylan Thomas, of course. To his dad.

Dr. Death Says:

Well done! Rather work busy for me these days, but Thomas was one of my favorites.

What bar did he drink in – in NYC?

Susan Says:

Weird that she didn’t at the very least finish up in Paris. Something just doesn’t seem right. I wonder if she has realized that she wouldn’t be winning as much anymore. The competitiion is tough and always changing. I have always considered her competively tough but I also feel that she never dealt with defeat well.(Serena & Mauresmo match) I don’t think she could have handled going out not on top. That was her big weakness.

Kozmikwunder Says:

a veritable WTF for the WTA.

thetennisguy Says:

I can’t believe she is retiring without giving Wimbeldon one more go.

She will always be remembered as a great champion and a great achiever, the toughest fighter who accomplished so much against all odds. And the sweetest one-handed backhand ever!

Kozmikwunder Says:

All farewells should be sudden.
Her tennis was fun to watch.

kofi ofori Says:

such a sad day for tennis. that Double H has to retire. i guess she just lost the desire to compete. i always looked forward to her battles with Serena and now we’ll be denied one at the RG. Cruel world. lets enjoy why we still have former ponytail from Switzerland and the Spanish matador!

TheWickedWitchIsDead Says:

The Wicked Witch is Dead!


Ever since she held up her hand on Serena’s serve in the French Open, then denied it to the Umpire, I’ve found it impossible to watch a match with this cheating person involved.

The game is better off without her!

Justin Says:


Was not a big fan but hey, she was the only one who could actually play without the need to singularly use power.

She was smart, stragetic and accurate. It was a joy to watch and really I call it “beautiful tennis”.

Now it’s going to be power power power. Williams, Ivanovic, Sharapova.. BORING.

The WTA tour is officially crap. Sorry, but it’s true. Goodbye women’s tennis.

Dr. Death Says:

Justin – I think Women’s tennis went a long time ago. It is a fashion and skin show and boring – except for that fine specimen of femininity – Ms. Bartoli.

(Anyone see my cane with the white tip?)

Tote Tennis Pro Says:

She was good, but more notable for being good while playing like a proper tennis player, one hand both sides, instead of the double handed bosh merchants that women’s tennis has been turning out since Shrieky Seles burst on the scene.

It’s a shame because she was one of the few left in women’s tennis that wasn’t all about power. Will be missed.

NK Says:

The Wicked Witch is Dead!


Ever since she held up her hand on Serena’s serve in the French Open, then denied it to the Umpire, I’ve found it impossible to watch a match with this cheating person involved.

The game is better off without her!”

I think these boards are better off without hateful comments like the one above. Does this person know anything about Justine or the person she truly is? Before slamming Justine or making character judgements about her, take the trouble to know her better. No one should be called a cheat or a wicked witch on the basis of one’s interpretation of an isolated incident.

I don’t really know much about Justine, but she played beautiful tennis, much like Federer, and that will be missed.

Dr. Death Says:

NK – wonderful comment. Often I stop by here and think why does so much venom gets spilled over a tennis player’s personality/character?

Are we all so Mr./Ms Perfect that we can pass these judgments? Indeed, if so perfect, answer my question of above as to what bar Dylan Thomas drank in when in NYC.

(BTW I have been watching a video clip of JH’s backhand. It is beautiful and perfect. Now if only I can copy it.)

But to look at the other side of the coin, I recall being in a pub in London. My mate made eye contact with another chap. No incidents; no words exchanged in a prelude. Then both were at each other’s throats. Why? I think there are some studies that talk about “chemical reactions” among people. Subtle odors given off that attract a man to a woman, etc. Perhaps so with the like or the dislike of particular public/sports figures.

MMT Says:

I’m so disappointed that all we have to look forward to now is bash-ball in women’s tennis. It’s almost unbearable to behold, and frankly, if (so many of them, but not all) weren’t so good-looking I’d be completely uninterested.

I’m quite certain that if we could go back in time to say, 1970, and kidnap Margaret Court, or 1972 and abduct Billie Jean King, put them in a time machine, bring them to 2007, and let them train for a year with modern equipment, one of them would win every major in tennis in 2008.

And lest you think I’m a complete sexist, the men’s game is not far behind. Do the same thing with Laver and Gonzales in their primes and they’d eat up the moder players with a few exceptions.

I’m not even that old, but boy do I long for days of old in tennis.

MMT Says:

For sh@#$ and giggles, here’s a link to an ode to Justine.

jane Says:

Yes, NK – well put.

DD – I thought D. Thomas drank at LOTS of bars; I don’t know the answer but didn’t want to cheat and try to look it up. Should I?

April Says:

I was so shocked when I first read about her retirement on the Tennis Channel’s website. I was hoping that she would win the French Open this year and beat her own record. She played through injuries and a very-public divorce. I thought that she would perhaps take a break. I never thought she would retire so soon. I will miss her, especially during the French Open.

JCF Says:

And now Belgium has no players…

I am sad that JH left. She was the best player in the game of this generation, and most fun to watch for me. I really don’t want to see shriekers like Serena and Sharapova dominate the game. I have to watch their matches on mute.

JH had the most elegance I’ve ever seen on the court from a player, and she will be missed.

JCF Says:

“She was rather small, which was more and more obvious during the last years because more and more tall players came on the Tour, so her successes were even more remarkable. It’s a shame for tennis when the No.1 player announces her retirement out of the blue… I can’t imagine just saying goodbye. That wouldn’t be my thing. I feel I still have so much ahead of me and so many possibilities in tennis. I just love the sport. It would break my heart to stop.”
– Roger Federer

I like how Federer turns around this tribute speech to start talking about himself… Can the guy get enough of himself?

Ose Says:

I think Justine’s retirement IS a loss for tennis. Her backhand was sweet and she was really a great champion.

But along with her greatness one low incident still rankles: the French Open match against Serena when she held up her hand (indicating she wasn’t ready for Serena’s serve) then she pretended she didn’t know what she’d done when the umpire turned to ask her.

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