Is Justine Henin just taking a long-deserved break and not a permanent retirement as was reported? Quite possibly.
The Independent is reporting that the former world no. 1 had been dealing with serious personal issues recently, including the death of her sister Sarah's premature new born boy and a failed romance with a South African doctor that began last winter and ended only weeks ago. In fact, she almost withdrew from the epic final of last season's WTA Championships against Maria Sharapova but was urged to win it for her sister and her son.
Those amongst her inner circle are speculating the door is not completely closed on a return to tennis. Her brother Thomas, who she was hitting with recently, said,
Maybe, I don't know. In six months to a year, if she hasn't found happiness in real life, it is possible. We don't know about the future.Her father Jose with whom she was estranged also raised questions about her motives saying about her recent relationship,
That's over, and Justine felt that men don't want her for the person she is but because she is the worldNo 1. She believes she will have a much bigger chance of meeting a good man and then having children in the future if she is not playing tennis any more.But he also believes she's left the door open for a return:
It might be possible to see her come back one day, just a chance. When Kim Clijsters quit she stopped completely. Justine is already playing again, so who knows?As intensely private as Justine has been historically, I wouldn't be surprised if she called it a 'retirement' in order to keep the media hawks out of her business...even for just a little while. Nothing is ever what it seems with her.
(image via Getty)