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Henin mourns forced retirement

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Originally published on: 15/02/11 09:49

Justine Henin has revealed she is in a state of mourning after retiring from tennis for the second time as a result of a persistent elbow injury.

The Belgian – a seven-time Grand Slam champion – called time on her career for good after losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Australian Open this January, two and a half years after her initial retirement from the game.

But while her first retirement was a decision over which she had full control, Henin admits that she will now struggle to adapt to life away from the court after the elbow injury forced her hand.

“I regard ending my career more like a sentence that’s been handed down than a decision I’ve made,” admitted the 29-year-old, who initially injured her elbow in her fourth round defeat to Kim Clijsters at Wimbledon last year, and has suffered problems with it ever since. “The will is there, but physically I can’t [continue]. It got to the point that I needed 10 minutes in the morning just to get my elbow functional. Now I have to mourn the end of my career.

“I’m going to miss all the great feelings you have as a professional tennis player, Henin said, but looking to the future, added: “I hope I’ll pick the racket up again one day, but more than anything I want to live a normal life.”

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