Her deftness with a racket, including a superlative backhand rated as the best in the world by US and Wimbledon tennis champion John McEnroe, will be missed by many who love the game.
Henin is facing both serious and fitness injuries with the current problem being a relatively new elbow injury. The 28-year-old only made a return to the game following an 18 month period of retirement earlier this year. She hopes to return to training by October, but with only a month then left of the tennis season, it is unlikely Henin will be seen on a tennis court competitively until January.
In July she pulled out of a much publicised game “Battle for Belgium” with Kim Clijsters, which was to be held in front of a world-record sized crowd for tennis at the King Badouin stadium in Brussels. Henin was replaced by the Wimbledon champion Serena Williams.
The outlook for Belgian women’s tennis is not good as Henin’s main rival for the past ten years Clijsters is also facing problems, suffering a thigh injury during a match against Vera Zvonareva in the recent Rogers Cup tournament in Montreal. Clijsters, however, seems to have recovered from her injury.
With Williams also out it looks likely that two of the most popular sportswomen in the game will not be able to entertain crowds at the upcoming US Open this September. Without them Flushing Meadows maybe a quieter place than usual.