Time to P-A-R-T-A-Y!
Midgets of the world REJOICE! Justine Henin is coming back.
Time to pop open the champaign, down a few beers, or perhaps a round of Fedrinkas is more your thang. Let’s clink our glasses and toast to the return of Justine Henin 2.0!
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
In the words of Ms Juju herself:
“I was very impatient and I am really happy and profoundly moved to be able to announce this evening that I will return to competition very quickly.
“I know it is surprising since, on May 14th 2008, I had put a definite end to my tennis career.”
“But then there was a long personal journey, I think, in these last 15 months, which were enriching.”
Henin said, “I found out many more things about myself and all of this allowed me to concentrate and then there was a flame which lit up again, which I thought had been blown out forever, and little by little this desire to come back, to live things differently, with wisdom, more maturity and through sharing as well.”
“Somewhere out there I was missing people and I want to relive this adventure with them.”
Source: Sky News
Feel that fire baby, feel that fire!
DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images
Justine’s coach, Carlos Rodriguez, revealed that Wimbledon was one of her main motivations in coming back.
“I swear I was extremely surprised,” he said. “I’m happy because at the end of the day it’s what she loves.
“She has entrusted me (to be her coach) once again and I will try to never let her down.
“I’m very happy to be helping her to restart her new life. It’s a super challenge for her.
The desire to win Wimbledon is one of the main reasons she’s come back and I’ll do everything to help her do it.
Source: Sky Sports
Yes Juju, we’ve got some unfinished business at Wimbledon, and I dare say some unfinished business with the Williams sisters and a certain Sharpie.
WTA Tour chief Stacey Allaster released a statement to welcome back Henin.
“Justine is one of the great champions in the history of women’s tennis and we, along with millions of her fans around the globe, are thrilled with her announcement today.”
“Justine is that rare athlete who decided to step away from the game at the height of her powers and no doubt she will be a force to be reckoned with. Her career was marked by so many amazing moments and a new chapter begins today.”
A new chapter or the good ol’ days reloaded? Lemme see: Clijsters is back. The Pova’s back. Venus and Serena are hanging around. Ana, Dina and the two Lenas aren’t doing much, and hell – that’s just the way I like it. And now Justine returns?
The epic awesomeness can be captured in this picture:
Image Credit: AP
That’s where we left off last time.
And what does this mean for the tour? I’m not naive enough to think that every comeback is going to be like Clijsters’ amazing run at the US Open. Henin will have her work cut out for her.
But one thing is certain: the days of looking to total clowns for our WTA tennis high are over. Venus, Serena, Kim, Pova and Justine, we now have 5 women back on the WTA tour who aren’t scared shitless just by the idea of success.
We also have this again:
It seems like coming back is the new retirement in sport these days, so who’s next on the comeback trail?
Mary Pierce? Anastasia Myskina? Shall I have my torch wood ready to burn Martina Hingis alight with grand slam desires? You know what? Just bring back Steffi Graf!
All these comebacks also raise a more interesting question – should tennis introduce rules for sabbatical breaks? It’s obvious that physically and emotionally, women’s tennis (and men’s too, to a lesser extent) has become a complete burn out. Then why not codify the possibility of taking a sabbatical year?
I can imagine plenty of oppositions to the idea, but it’s one we need to think about given the recent spate of comebacks.
Meanwhile, we have at least another 3 years to enjoy Justine’s tennis again.
I’ll toast to that again.