Justine Henin(born June 1, 1982 in Liège) is a Belgian professional tennis player from the Walloon (French-speaking) region of Belgium. She is the current World No. 1.
She has won six Grand Slam singles titles, including four French Open singles titles (four of the last five and the last three, consecutively). She also has won a WTA Tour Championships singles title and the singles gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Some tennis experts cite her mental toughness and her one-handed backhand (which John McEnroe has called one of the best backhands of any male or female player) as reasons for her success.
Justine Henin was born on June 1, 1982. Her father is José Henin; her mother, Françoise Rosière, was a French and history teacher, who died when Justine was 12 years old. She has two brothers (David and Thomas), and a sister (Sarah). She also had an elder sister who died in a car accident before Justine was born.
When Justine was two, her family moved to a house in Rochefort, situated next to the local tennis club, where she played tennis for the first time in her life. At the age of six, Henin joined Tennis Club Ciney. Her coaches discovered her talent immediately. Henin outclassed the other children in training sessions, and she was very ambitious. Her mother routinely took the young Henin across the border to France to watch the French Open. Henin saw the 1992 final involving her idol Steffi Graf and Monica Seles. Although Graf lost, the experience impressed Henin, who apparently told her mother, "One day I will play here and I will win."
In 1995, shortly after her mother’s death, Henin met her current (2007) and thus far only coach Carlos Rodriguez. Because of a conflict with her biological father, due to different ideas about her tennis career and her relationship with Pierre-Yves Hardenne, Rodriguez soon became not only her trainer but also a second father figure.
On November 16, 2002, Henin married Pierre-Yves in the Château de Lavaux-Sainte-Anne. However, on January 4, 2007, Henin withdrew from the upcoming tournaments in Australia, including the Australian Open, due to personal problems. Various news agencies reported that she intended to divorce. She has since confirmed on her official website that she has separated from her husband and she also resumed her maiden name, Justine Henin, instead of Justine Henin-Hardenne.  Her divorce and a serious car accident of her eldest brother helped to clear the path for Justine to make contact again with her close family (which she communicated very openly in the local press). During the 2007 French Open, her brothers and sisters attended her matches for the first time in her professional career.
Henin, known as "Juju" to many of her fans, has been coached by Carlos Rodriguez of Argentina since she was 14 years old. In 1997, she won the junior girl's singles title at the French Open. Early in her senior career, she regularly reached the late rounds of international competitions and won five International Tennis Federation tournaments by the end of 1998.
She started her professional career on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tour in May 1999 as a wild card entry in the Belgian Open at Antwerp and became the fifth player to win her debut WTA Tour event.
Henin established herself as a major competitor in 2001 when she reached the women's singles semifinals of the French Open and the women's singles final of Wimbledon, losing to Venus Williams. By the end of the year, Henin was ranked seventh in singles, with three titles to her name. Also at the French Open that year, she and Elena Tatarkova reached the women's doubles semifinals. Furthermore Belgium (with Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters )won the 2001 Fed cup.
In 2002, she reached four WTA finals, winning two of them. Henin finished the year ranked fifth. Her German Open victory, her first win at a Tier I tournament, was noteworthy as she beat Jennifer Capriati in a semifinal and Serena Williams in the final, the then number two and number five ranked players, respectively.
In 2003, Henin won her first Grand Slam tournament, the French Open, defeating her compatriot Kim Clijsters in the final 6-0, 6-4. She reached the final after defeating top ranked Serena Williams in three sets, recovering from a 2-4 deficit in the third set.
Later that year, Henin won her second Grand Slam tournament, the U.S. Open, again defeating Clijsters in the final 7-5, 6-1. Henin reached the final by defeating Jennifer Capriati 7-6 in the final set of their semifinal match. During the match, Henin was two points from defeat eleven times. The match ended well after midnight and Henin, after receiving treatment for dehydration and cramping, returned the next day to defeat Clijsters.
On October 19, 2003, Henin replaced Clijsters as the top ranked female singles player. She was named the International Tennis Federation's women's singles World Champion for 2003.
Henin started 2004 by winning a warm-up tournament in Sydney. She then won the Australian Open in Melbourne, defeating Kim Clijsters 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
As of March 22, 2004, Henin had accumulated the highest point total (7626) in the history of the WTA rankings. Because the awarding of quality points was eliminated in 2006, this point total may never be exceeded.
By the end of the 2004 spring hard court season, Henin had built a 25-match Tier I winning streak and a 22-1 win-loss record (winning her first 16 matches).
At the start of the 2004 clay court season, Henin's health was adversely affected by infection with a strain of cytomegalovirus and an immune system problem. She often slept up to 18 hours a day and barely had the strength to brush her teeth, let alone play competitive tennis.
Although she decided to defend her French Open title and was seeded first in the tournament, she lost her second round match against a much lower-ranked player, Tathiana Garbin of Italy. At the time, the loss marked only the second time in 15 Grand Slam events that Henin exited before the fourth round.
Henin returned to competition in August and won the women's singles gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, defeating Amélie Mauresmo of France in the final 6-3, 6-3. Henin reached the gold medal match by defeating Anastasia Myskina in a semifinal after having trailed 1-5 in the final set, which she won 8-6. Her medal ceremony was attended by fellow countryman and IOC president Jacques Rogge.
In September 2004, she failed to defend her U.S. Open title, losing to Nadia Petrova in the fourth round. This defeat caused her to lose the number one ranking, which she had held for 45 non-consecutive weeks. She then withdrew from the 10 remaining tournaments of the year in an effort to recover her health and improve her fitness. Her plan to rejoin the tour at the beginning of 2005 was delayed when she fractured her kneecap in a December 2004 training session.
On March 25, 2005, after more than six months away from competition, Henin returned to the WTA circuit at the NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami. She lost to second ranked Maria Sharapova in a quarterfinal. She rebounded at her next tournament, winning the clay court Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina. She won two more clay court titles before the start of the 2005 French Open. Her victories over top ranked Lindsay Davenport, Sharapova, Elena Dementieva, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Petrova made her a top contender for the title there.
Henin was seeded tenth at the French Open and defeated the French player Mary Pierce, 6-1, 6-1, to take her second title at Roland Garros. The win marked Henin's 24th consecutive clay court win and her tenth consecutive final win, a streak stretching back to Zürich in October 2003. In capturing the title, she defeated Kuznetsova in the fourth round, Sharapova in a quarterfinal, and Petrova in a semifinal.
With her French Open victory, Henin moved from number 12 to number seven in the women's singles rankings. She joined Monica Seles as the only two currently active (in 2005) players on the WTA Tour to have won the French Open at least twice and was a perfect 24-0 in her 2005 clay court season.
At Wimbledon 2005, Henin's win streak of 24 matches was snapped in the first round by Greek Eleni Daniilidou 7-6, 2-6, 7-5. With this defeat, she became the first French Open champion in the open era to lose in the opening round of Wimbledon. A hamstring injury sustained earlier in the year eventually limited Henin to playing in only 11 more matches for 2005.
In 2005, TENNIS Magazine put her in 31st place in its list of 40 Greatest Players of the TENNIS era.
In November, at the 2005 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Championships, she was named the inaugural winner of the Whirlpool 6th Sense Player of the Year, which honors the player who has demonstrated the most sixth sense intuition, that is to say "heightened intelligence, unbeatable performance and pinpoint precision."
In January 2006, Henin returned to competitive tennis in a tournament in Sydney, a tune-up for the 2006 Australian Open. She was seeded fifth and played former women's singles number one (and newly returned to competitive tennis) Martina Hingis in a much hyped first round match. Henin won 6-3, 6-3. She then defeated former U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in a semifinal 6-3, 6-1, before defeating Francesca Schiavone in the final 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.
In her Australian Open campaign, Henin defeated top ranked Lindsay Davenport and fourth ranked Maria Sharapova in three-set matches to set up a final against third ranked Amélie Mauresmo. While trailing 6-1, 2-0, Henin retired from the match, citing intense stomach pain caused by over-use of anti-inflammatories for a persistent shoulder injury. Henin was criticized by the press because she said after her win against Sharapova in the previous round that she was at the "peak of her fitness" and was playing the "best tennis of her life." She was only the second player, and the first woman, to retire from a Grand Slam final in the open era.
Henin captured her second title of 2006 at a Tier II event in Dubai, defeating Sharapova 7-5, 6-2. This was her third Dubai title, having won previously in 2003 and 2004.
In the following Pacific Life Open Tier I tournament in Indian Wells, Henin lost a semifinal match to fourth seed Elena Dementieva 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 after leading 6-2, 5-1. Henin also was ousted from the Miami NASDAQ-100 Open in the second round by Meghann Shaughnessy 7-5, 6-4. In April, Henin failed to defend her title at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, her first clay court event of the season. She lost to third-seeded Patty Schnyder 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in a semifinal. It was her first defeat in the Tier I tournament and the end of her 27 match win streak on clay.
In April, Henin led Belgium to victory over defending champion Russia in a Fed Cup quarterfinal. She defeated fifth ranked Nadia Petrova 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, and ninth ranked Elena Dementieva 6-2, 6-0. The wins were significant for Henin because Petrova had come into the tie with two consecutive clay court tournament victories and a 10-match clay court winning streak, while Dementieva had defeated Henin in their last meeting in Indian Wells and defeated second ranked Belgian compatriot Kim Clijsters on the first day of the tie.
Henin played at the Tier I German Open as the defending champion and defeated Mauresmo 6-1, 6-2 in a semifinal. However, she lost to Petrova in the final 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
At the French Open in June, Henin rebounded from her loss in Berlin. In a semifinal match, Henin defeated second seeded Clijsters 6-3, 6-2. She then defeated Kuznetsova in the final 6-4, 6-4 to win her third title in four years there. Henin captured the title without the loss of a set and became the first French Open champion to defend her title successfully since Steffi Graf in 1996.
At the Eastbourne grass court tournament, Henin won the final against Anastasia Myskina 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(5).
Henin was the third seed going into Wimbledon and advanced to her third consecutive Grand Slam final without losing a set. She defeated Clijsters (who was seeded second) in a semifinal 6-4, 7-6(4) but lost the final to Mauresmo 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Henin withdrew from Tier 1 events in San Diego and Montreal because of injury but entered the Pilot Pen tournament in New Haven. There, she defeated Kuznetsova and Davenport en route to the title. It was her 28th WTA tour title. She returned to the number 2 ranking and crossed over US $12 million in career prize money.
At the U.S. Open, Sharapova defeated Henin 6-4, 6-4 in the final.
Henin was the first woman since Hingis in 1997 to reach the finals of all four Grand Slam singles tournaments in a calendar year. This was also the first time that both a man and a woman have reached the finals of all Grand Slams in one year, the man being Roger Federer.
Henin guaranteed her year end world No. 1 ranking by reaching the final of the WTA Tour Championships, defeating Sharapova 6-2, 7-6(5) in a semifinal. Henin then won the tournament for the first time in her career by defeating Mauresmo in the final 6-4 6-3.
Henin is the first player since Hingis in 2000 to win the WTA Tour Championships and end the year as the top ranked player. Henin is the first woman to win at least one Grand Slam singles title in four consecutive years since Graf from 1993 through 1996. Her prize money earnings for 2006 totaled U.S. $4,204,810.
On January 4, 2007, Henin withdrew from the Australian Open and the warm-up tournament in Sydney for personal reasons, which resulted in her losing the No. 1 ranking to Maria Sharapova.
In her first tournament of the year, Henin lost in the semifinals of the Open Gaz de France to Czech Lucie Safarova 7-6(5), 6-4.
Henin then won two hardcourt tournaments in the Middle East. She won the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open for the fourth time in the last five years, defeating Amelie Mauresmo in the final 6-4, 7-5. In Doha, she won her first Qatar Total Open title, defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final 6-4, 6-2. She also reached US$14 million in career prize money earnings, and on March 19th, she regained the No. 1 ranking.
At the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Henin reached the final for the first time in her career, where she lost to Serena Williams 0-6, 7-5, 6-3 after Henin had two match points at 6-0, 5-4.
Henin withdrew from the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina with an ongoing respiratory problem. Her next tournament was the J&S Cup in Warsaw, Poland, which she won, beating Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine 6-1, 6-3 in the final.
Later at the Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin, Henin won a marathon quarterfinal against Jelena Janković 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 after being behind 4-0 in the third set. However, she lost her semifinal against Kuznetsova 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, which was only her second loss to Kuznetsova in 16 career meetings.
At the French Open, Henin was the two-time defending champion and top seed. In a highly anticipated quarterfinal match against Serena Williams, the current Australian Open champion, Henin won 6-4, 6-3. She then defeated Janković in the semifinals 6-2, 6-2. In the final, Henin defeated Ana Ivanović 6-1, 6-2 to claim her third consecutive French Open title, equalling Monica Seles's open era record, and surpassed US$15 million in career prize money earnings.
In her first Grass Court tournament of the Year, at the International Women's Open in Eastbourne, Henin defeated each of her first three opponents in two short sets; Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-1; Nicole Vaidišová 6-2, 6-2 and Marion Bartoli 6-1, 6-3. The final, against Amelie Mauresmo, was the first Eastbourne final in nearly 30 years between the two finalists at the previous years Wimbledon Championships. Henin fought back from a break down in the final set to win in the third set tie-break for the second consecutive year, completing a 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(2) victory.
Currently Justine Henin is competing in the 2007 Championships at Wimbledon, where she hopes to complete a career Grand Slam. She has gone through to face Marion Bartoli in the semi-finals after beating Serena Williams 6-4 3-6 6-3 in the quarter finals.
2003 Australian Open fourth round: defeated Lindsay Davenport 7-5, 5-7, 9-7. In a match lasting more than three hours, Henin overcame a 4-1 final set deficit, high temperatures, and muscle cramps to defeat Davenport for the first time in her career.
2003 U.S. Open semifinal: defeated Jennifer Capriati 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(4). Capriati was two points away from victory eleven times in a match that stretched to midnight. After her victory, Henin went to the hospital for rehydration treatment. The next day, she defeated fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters for the title.
2004 Athens Olympics semifinal: defeated Anastasia Myskina 7-5, 5-7, 8-6. After months of layoff due to a virus, Henin competed in the Olympics. Henin rallied from 5-1 down in the third set to defeat reigning French Open champion Myskina. She went on to capture the gold medal.
2005 French Open fourth round: defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6(6), 4-6, 7-5. Henin saved two match points to earn a quarterfinal spot. In winning the tournament, she became only the second woman to win the French Open after saving a match point. (Myskina accomplished the feat a year before, also against Kuznetsova
2005 Wimbledon first round: lost to Eleni Daniilidou 7-6(8), 2-6, 7-5. It was the first time that a reigning French Open champion failed to win a match at Wimbledon.
2006 Australian Open final: lost to Amélie Mauresmo 6-1, 2-0. Henin retired from the match with stomach pain. This was only the fourth Grand Slam women's singles final that ended by retirement since 1900 and the first in the open era. Henin stated afterwards that she feared possible injury had she continued to play. She was widely criticized by tennis commentators and writers for not finishing the match.[
2006 Wimbledon final: lost to Mauresmo 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. The final round was notable for featuring two "finesse" players who used their all-court games, a notable break from the previous years that featured a succession of power baseliners claiming the title. At almost every point throughout the match, both players approached the net to serve and volley. Tipped as the tournament favorite, Henin won the first set over Mauresmo. But Mauresmo recovered, winning the next two sets and keeping her composure to win her second Grand Slam title and deny the Belgian a career Grand Slam.
Belgian Sportswoman of the Year.
ITF World Champion.
WTA Player of the Year (for 2003).
Belgian Sportswoman of the Year.
Family Circle/State Farm "Player Who Makes A Difference".
Whirlpool 6th Sense Player of the Year.
Appointed UNESCO Champion for Sport.
ITF World Champion.
Belgian Sportswoman of the Year
Member of the Belgian Sporting Team of the Year (Fed Cup - Team)
European Sportswoman of the Year
"Fiecare poartă în sine veşnicia."