Belfast Telegraph

Australian Open: Dejected Henin forced to retire

Justine Henin has announced her retirement from tennis for a second time after admitting defeat in her bid to recover from an elbow injury.

The 28-year-old first quit the sport in 2008 when she was ranked number one in the world but had a change of heart the following year and returned to the WTA Tour in January 2010.

Henin reached the Australian Open final later that month but she missed the second half of the season after fracturing a ligament in her elbow at Wimbledon.

And yesterday the Belgian revealed that injury has forced her to call time on her playing days for good.

She wrote in her website, www.justine-henin.be: “I'm in shock, of course. Even with the work of these past seven months, I had to understand that there might be a reason for all this.

“After having considered and followed the advice of doctors, it is now clear and I accept that my career here ... finally ends.”

Meanwhile, Kim Clijsters is confident of producing the improved performance she feels is required to beat Vera Zvonareva in the Australian Open semi-finals today.

The Belgian overcame Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3 7-6 (7/4) yesterday to join Zvonareva in the last four and set up a rematch of last year's US Open final which Clijsters won convincingly.

And with Russian Zvonareva gunning for revenge, third seed Clijsters knows she will have to improve on today's display if she wants to make it through to a meeting with either Li Na or Caroline Wozniacki.

She said: “Everything has to be better: serving, returning, the unforced errors. I am in the semi-finals but I don't feel like I have played my best tennis.”

Zvonareva ended the run of Petra Kvitova 6-2 6-4.

Belfast Telegraph

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