And I thought it would've all just turned out to be a bunch of baloney. You see an article at 5:45 in the morning like I did today reporting something no one saw coming, what else would you think? But turns out it was true: Justine Henin, the number-one player in the women's game, only 25 and coming off a career year, announced her retirement, effective immediately. Now after reading all the stories, here's what I think:
I'm not buying it.
It's not that I don't believe she's leaving the game right now, because it's obvious she's doing that. I honestly think she'll be back, though, at least in a year-and-a-half or two. If Lindsay Davenport got the itch to start playing again after complaining for years that she couldn't wait for her career to be over, then what will Henin be like? I know she has her academy to build up and has a world of outside interests to keep her busy.
However, I can't think of another women's tennis player that enjoyed the competitive aspect of the sport as much as Henin did, except for maybe Monica Seles. I think Henin loved to beat those players that were bigger than her and showing them that heart and determination can go a long way in beating what appear to be insurmountable odds. I've been rooting for her to pick up a Wimbledon title for a few years now, just because I love to see history being made in the game, and I bet that'll stick in her craw, too.
If this is truly the route she wants to take, you can't help but respect her career and her decision-making on this. Plus, it's always great to see an athlete go out on top. I just can't picture her staying away for too long; not as determined as she is.
I already have a headline picked out for when she starts talking about a comeback — Belgian waffling? I think I'm gonna get that trademarked!
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.