Henin Retires From Tennis

ending elbow injury that has forced the Belgian to hang up her racquet.  One of the WTA’s greatest players and a seven-time Grand Slam champion, Henin retired from the sport for the first time in March 2008 and became the first woman in the history of professional tennis to retire while ranked World No.1.  She made a successful comeback to tennis at the beginning of the 2010 season, reaching the final of the 2010 Australian Open and capturing two titles (the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart and the UNICEF Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch).  During a fourth-round loss to Kim Clijsters at 2010 Wimbledon, Henin suffered a right elbow injury and did not play for the remainder of the 2010 season.

On her official website, Henin said the following: “I turn, and this time, an incredible page of my life … What a wonderful trip, I have experienced during all these years.  Today I am calmer and I can create positive and rewarding look back on this experience in my life…Finally and most importantly, thanks everyone.  Thanks for standing by my side during all these years. I will never forget your support and your loyalty.”

“Justine Henin will go down as one of the greatest female athletes of her era.  She has been an incredible ambassador for women’s tennis on and off the court, and her fighting spirit, tremendous courage and ultimate success has captured the minds and hearts of millions of fans around the world,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA.  “We have all been fortunate to once again have had the opportunity to witness the beauty of her game during these many past months, and no doubt we will miss seeing her on court competing like only Justine can.  In her young career Justine has already done so much to inspire and give back to others, and I am sure this will continue to be a big part of the next chapter of her life.”

Henin is a winner of 43 WTA singles titles – including seven Grand Slam championships – and has been ranked World No.1 for a total of 117 weeks (7th all time).  She has amassed more than $20 million in career prize money and is leaving the sport with a win-loss record of 527-116.

But more importantly than any statistic, 5-foot, 5 ¾-inch (1.67 m) Henin was renowned for her spectacular one-handed backhand, incredible athleticism and unrivalled mental fortitude and work ethic.

Among many accomplishments, Henin achieved the following:

  • Finished three seasons as the WTA World No.1 (2003, 2006, 2007)
  • Won seven Grand Slam singles titles (Roland Garros 2003, 2005-07; Australian Open 2004; US Open 2003, 2007)
  • In 2007-08, set personal best 32-match winning streak, longest streak since Venus Williams in 2000 (35); in 2007, posted a 63-4 (0.94) winning record, the best percentage in women’s tennis since 1989 (Graf 86-2, 0.977)
  • In 2006 became the seventh player in the Open Era to reach all four Grand Slam finals in the same calendar year (Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, and Martina Hingis).
  • Won 43 singles titles, including seven Grand Slams, two season-ending WTA Championships (2006, 2007) and an Olympic gold medal in singles in Athens in 2004
  • Helped lead Belgium to its first Fed Cup title in 2001.

After retiring from tennis in 2008, Henin turned her focus to charitable work, becoming a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and traveling to Cambodia and the Democratic Republic of Congo in that role throughout 2009.  She created the “Justine For Kids” association, the purpose of which is to help develop and fund projects to aid sick children and their families.  Henin founded the “Sixth Sense Academy” in 2007 with coach Carlos Rodriguez which has five locations – three in Belgium, one in Florida and the most recent one in China.

Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva Round Out Singles Field at WTA Championships-Doha 2010

ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva today became the final two singles players to qualify for the season-ending WTA Championships–Doha 2010, set to take place for the third year in a row at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex in Doha, Qatar, from October 26-31.

Jankovic and Dementieva join Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters, Samantha Stosur, Francesca Schiavone and the doubles teams of Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta, Kveta Peschke/Katarina Srebotnik, Lisa Raymond/Rennae Stubbs and Vania King/Yaroslava Shvedova.  The world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams will compete for the coveted WTA Championships title and a share of the $4.5 million in prize money.

“I congratulate Jelena and Elena on qualifying for the WTA Championships,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA.  “Both Jelena and Elena consistently perform at the highest level year in and year out, and it’s great to see them qualify for what promises to be a terrific finale to the 2010 season.”

Jelena Jankovic:

Serbia’s Jankovic is headed to her fourth straight WTA Championships, where she has been a semifinalist in each of the last two years.  A winner of the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells), her 12th career singles title, Jankovic also reached the final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome, l. Martinez Sanchez), the semifinals at Roland Garros (l. Stosur), and the quarterfinals at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships (Dubai), the Family Circle Cup (Charleston), and the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart).  In Rome, Jankovic became only the seventh player in history to defeat both Serena and Venus Williams in the same tournament, and additionally scored her 400th match win at the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open.

Elena Dementieva:

Russia’s Dementieva has qualified for the year-end WTA Championships for the tenth time in her career, achieving her best results at the event in 2000 and 2008 by reaching the semifinals.  Dementieva started off the season by capturing titles at two of her first three tournaments: the Medibank International (Sydney) and the Open GDF SUEZ (Paris).  Additionally, she was runner-up at the Malaysia Open (Kuala Lumpur, l. Kleybanova) and the Toray Pan Pacific Open (Tokyo, l. Wozniacki); and the semifinals of the Pilot Pen Tennis at Yale (New Haven, l. Wozniacki).  Dementieva retired with a calf injury during her semifinal match at Roland Garros after losing the first set to Francesca Schiavone subsequently causing her to miss Wimbledon, ending a run of 46 consecutive Grand Slam appearances.  Dementieva has won 16 career titles and has 574 career match wins, second only to Venus Williams (590) among active players.    She has been ranked in the Top 20 for each week of the last seven years.

RACE TO THE WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS–DOHA 2010

as of the week of October 4, 2010

SINGLES DOUBLES
PLAYER POINTS RACE STANDING TEAM POINTS RACE STANDING
Caroline Wozniacki** 6395 1 Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta** 7411 1
Vera Zvonareva** 5397 2 Kveta Peschke/Katarina Srebotnik** 6146 2
Serena Williams** 5355 3 Serena Williams/Venus Williams^ 5500 3
Kim Clijsters** 5295 4 Lisa Raymond/Rennae Stubbs** 5099 4
Venus Williams* 4985 5 Vania King/Yaroslava Shvedova** 4528 5
Samantha Stosur** 4568 6
Francesca Schiavone** 4346 7
Jelena Jankovic** 4157 8
Elena Dementieva** 3946 9

** Denotes player/team has already qualified

* Denotes player that has qualified yet withdrew due to injury

^Due to Venus Williams’ injury, team unable to participate in the event of eventual qualification

Dulko and Pennetta First Doubles Team to Qualify to WTA Championships

ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – Today, Argentina’s Gisela Dulko and Italy’s Flavia Pennetta became the first doubles team to qualify for the season-ending WTA Championships – Doha 2010, set to take place for the third year in a row at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex in Doha, Qatar, from October 26-31, and offering prize money of $4.45 million.  Dulko and Pennetta will make their first trip to the prestigious Championships as a team after a successful season highlighted by winning five titles – more than any other team on Tour.  It’s also the first time that both players qualified for the year-end Championships in either singles or doubles.

“It is very exciting to qualify for the WTA Championships. We are thrilled to play in the prestigious event for the first time in each of our careers and look forward to competing in Doha against the best doubles teams in the world,” said Dulko.

“I’m so happy to qualify for the year-end Championships with Gisela as we are close friends on and off the court and it is very special for us,” added Pennetta.  “We have worked very hard this year and reaching the Championships is a perfect way to end the season.”

Dulko and Pennetta have played 13 tournaments together in 2010, winning five titles to take their career tally together to eight.  Earlier this season, they compiled a 17-match winning streak – the longest on Tour since March 2007 (when Cara Black and Liezel Huber won 22), which garnered three consecutive Premier-level titles at the Sony Ericsson Open (Miami), the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome) and the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart). Their run was finally stopped by Serena and Venus Williams at the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open (Madrid), where Dulko and Pennetta finished as runners-up.

The second half of the season has been highlighted by two additional titles – the Rogers Cup (Montreal) and the Collector Swedish Open (Bastad).  Dulko and Pennetta also recorded strong Grand Slam results this year, reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open.  Dulko and Pennetta have amassed an impressive 40-8 record as a team so far this season. Dulko also won a sixth doubles title this year, collecting the Copa BBVA Colsanitas (Bogota) with Edina Gallovits.

“I congratulate Gisela and Flavia on qualifying for the WTA Championships for the first time in their careers,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA. “They are an exciting and charismatic team and have worked incredibly hard to become the most consistent doubles champions during 2010.  Gisela and Flavia will make a great addition to the doubles roster during the WTA’s season finale in Qatar and it’s great that the fans will be able to watch them compete with the best doubles teams on Tour.”