|Birth Day:||June 1, 1982|
|Birth Place:||Liege, Belgium|
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By the age of seventeen she had lost both of her parents.
In 1995, shortly after her mother's death, Henin met her coach Carlos Rodríguez who guided her career both before her retirement in 2008 and during her 2010 comeback. Following a conflict between Henin and her father over her tennis career and her relationship with Pierre-Yves Hardenne, Rodríguez soon became not only her trainer but in some ways a second father figure.
At the French Open, Henin defeated second seeded Clijsters in the semifinals 6–3, 6–2. She then defeated Kuznetsova in the final to win her third French Open singles title in four years. Henin captured the title without losing a set and became the first French Open champion to defend her title successfully since Steffi Graf in 1996.
Henin, known as "Juju" to many of her fans, was coached by Carlos Rodríguez of Argentina. In 1997, she won the junior girls' singles title at the French Open. Early in her senior career, she regularly reached the late rounds of international competitions and won five International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournaments by the end of 1998.
At the US Open, Maria Sharapova defeated Henin in the final after Henin had defeated Lindsey Davenport in the quarterfinals and Jelena Janković in the semifinals. Henin became the first woman since Hingis in 1997 to reach the finals of all four Grand Slam singles tournaments in a calendar year.
This victory extended Henin's winning streak to 25 matches. She only lost three sets after Wimbledon. This victory made her the sixth player to successfully defend her title at the WTA's season-ending championship and the first player to claim at least ten tour titles in a year since Hingis won twelve in 1997. She also became the first woman to break the US$5 million barrier in prize money in a year, and by crossing US$19 million, Henin is now ranked fifth on the all time prize money list.
She began her professional career on the Women's Tennis Association tour in May 1999 as a wild card entry in the Belgian Open clay tournament at Antwerp and became only the fifth player to win her debut WTA Tour event. She also won her hometown event, the Liege Challenger, in July 2000.
Henin was the first player since Hingis in 2000 to win the WTA Tour Championships and end the year as the top-ranked player. Henin was the first woman to win at least one Grand Slam singles title in four consecutive years since Steffi Graf from 1993 through 1996. Her prize money earnings for the year totaled $4,204,810.
Henin established herself as a major competitor in 2001, consequently reaching the women's singles semifinals of the French Open and then upset the reigning Australian Open and French Open champion Jennifer Capriati in the semifinals of Wimbledon, losing to defending champion Venus Williams in three sets in the final. By the end of the year, Henin was ranked 7th in singles, with three titles to her name. Also that year, she reached the French Open women's doubles semifinals with Elena Tatarkova and helped Belgium to win the 2001 Fed Cup. Moreover, Henin played for the German tennis club Weiß-Blau Schweinfurt in 2001.
On 16 November 2002, Henin married Hardenne in the Château de Lavaux-Sainte-Anne, and adopted the name Justine Henin-Hardenne. On 4 January 2007, Henin withdrew from forthcoming tournaments including the Australian Open due to personal issues. She confirmed three weeks later that she had officially separated from her husband. The same year, she reverted to using the name Henin.
In 2002, she reached four WTA finals, winning two of them, and finished the year ranked world No. 5. Her German Open victory, her first win at a Tier I tournament, was noteworthy as she beat Jennifer Capriati in a semifinal and Serena Williams in the final, the then No. 2 and No. 5 ranked players, respectively. At Wimbledon 2002, Henin beat former world No. 1, Monica Seles, in two tough sets.
At the Tier I Zurich Open the following week, Henin reached her sixth consecutive final where she defeated Serbia's Jelena Dokić. This win catapulted her to become the 13th world No. 1 on the WTA computer rankings on 20 October, 2003. Henin temporarily lost her number 1 ranking after a week as she declined to defend her title at the Generali Ladies Linz tournament.
Henin was seeded tenth at the French Open and defeated the French player Mary Pierce in the final in straight sets to take her second title at Roland Garros. The win marked Henin's 24th consecutive clay court win and her tenth consecutive final win, a streak dating back to Zurich in October 2003. In capturing the title, she defeated Kuznetsova in the fourth round, Sharapova in a quarterfinal, and Petrova in a semifinal. Henin saved two match points to defeat Kuznetsova in the fourth round 7–6, 4–6, 7–5 and thus became only the second woman to win the French Open after saving a match point.
Henin captured her second title of the year at zhe Tier II event in Dubai defeating Sharapova 7–5, 6–2. This was her third Dubai title, having won previously in 2003 and 2004. At Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, Henin lost in the semifinals to fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva 6–2, 5–7, 5–7, after leading 6–2, 5–2 and serving for the match twice. Henin also lost in the second round of Tier I Miami Masters to Meghann Shaughnessy 5–7, 4–6.
Henin ended the year ranked world No. 1 for the third time in her career, having done so previously in 2003 and 2006. She was the first player since Lindsay Davenport to end the year ranked world No. 1 consecutively for two years (Davenport was ranked year-end world No. 1 in 2004–2005). She also ended the year with a 63–4 record, having lost to only four players: Lucie Šafářová, Serena Williams, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Marion Bartoli. Her winning percentage of 94% was the best since Steffi Graf's 1995 season (Serena Williams surpassed her in 2013 with 95%).
Henin started 2004 by winning a warm-up tournament in Sydney and then the Australian Open in Melbourne, defeating Clijsters in three sets in the final. By the end of 2004's spring hard court season, Henin had built a 25-match Tier I win streak and 22–1 win-loss record, winning her first 16 matches.
On 4 January 2007, Henin withdrew from the Australian Open and the warm-up tournament in Sydney to deal with the break-up of her marriage. Not playing those tournaments caused Henin to lose the world No. 1 ranking to Maria Sharapova.
At the WTA Tour Championships, Henin won all three of her round robin matches, defeating Anna Chakvetadze, Janković, and Bartoli. Going into the match against Bartoli, Henin had won 22 consecutive matches since Bartoli defeated her in the 2007 Wimbledon semifinals. Although Henin had already clinched a spot in the semifinals, both Henin and Bartoli did not know Bartoli had to replace Serena Williams until several hours before the match and lost 6–0, 6–0. In the semifinals, Henin defeated Ivanovic 6–4, 6–4. In the final, Henin overcame Sharapova in three sets in a match that lasted 3 hours, 24 minutes. Sharapova won the first set on her eighth set point in the 12-minute last game. Henin won the match on her fifth match point in the final game of the match. This was Henin's longest ever match, the longest final in tournament history, and the twelfth longest women's match ever.
At the 2007 French Open, Martina Navratilova said that "Henin's offense is just phenomenal ... it's sort of like we've got 'the female Federer', or maybe the guys have 'the male Justine Henin', because she is just head and shoulders above everyone else right now." Her footwork, balance, and court coverage—and she is adept at changing from a defensive style to an aggressive one. Compared to the rest of her game, Henin's serve was rather inconsistent. Her tendency to take risks on her second serve could sometimes result in a high number of double faults. When she first came onto the tour, Henin used a pinpoint stance (most common among the WTA) for serving, but later retooled her serve to use a platform stance, which is most common among male players. Nonetheless, despite her relatively small size, Henin was capable of producing powerful first serves, her fastest one being clocked at 196 km/h (122 mph) at the 2005 Family Circle Cup. Henin's single-handed backhand was the most powerful and accurate in the game. She could hit her backhand flat, with heavy topspin, or slice [underspin]. Her backhand could also be used to surprise her opponents with drop shots, breaking up the pattern of a groundstroke rally. Her forehand was generally regarded as her most dangerous weapon, and the stroke that she normally used to dictate play in a match. It was underrated as most only spoke of her backhand, but particularly in her dominant years of 2003 and 2007, she would dominate the tone of matches with her huge and versatile forehand. Like her serve, her forehand was something retooled during her career and took inspiration from Andre Agassi's forehand.
In May 2007, Henin and her coach Carlos Rodríguez started the Academy 6th Sense. At the 2009 US Open – Girls' Doubles the Ukrainian tennis player Maryna Zanevska became the first "6th Sense player" to win a Grand Slam title.
On 30 November 2007, Henin opened her own tennis academy Club Justine N1 (in French, "N1" is pronounced almost identically to "Henin").
Henin announced her immediate retirement from professional tennis on 14 May 2008, and requested the WTA to remove her name from the rankings immediately. Her announcement was a surprise because Henin was still ranked world No. 1 and was considered the favorite for the French Open, where she would have been the three-time defending champion. She said she felt no sadness about her retirement because she believed it was a release from a game she had focused on for twenty years. She also said that in the future, she would be concentrating on charity and her tennis school.
Belgian newspaper L'Avenir reported on Tuesday 22 September 2009 that Henin would formally announce her return to competitive tennis after 16 months of retirement. Later that day, she confirmed her return to competition. Henin mentioned seeing Roger Federer finally complete the grand slam of titles by winning the French Open in 2009 had been an inspiration, as had Kim Clijsters' return to the tour and her victory at the US Open.
After retiring, Henin became involved in two Belgian reality shows in 2009. In May, she starred in De Twaalf Werken van Justine Henin – Les 12 travaux de Justine Henin (The 12 Labours of Justine Henin). The show followed Henin as she completed 12 personal challenges. In June 2009, she hosted a musical TV show that revolved around Belgian-Italian singer Lara Fabian.
At the 2010 Australian Open, Henin was given a wildcard as an unranked player. Henin started off with a straight sets victory over Belgian Kirsten Flipkens. She set up a second round match of the tournament with No. 5 seed Elena Dementieva, whom she defeated 7–5, 7–6. Lasting two hours and fifty minutes, commentators felt this match was worthy of a final. Henin approached the net forty-three times, winning thirty-five of those points. In the third round, she defeated No. 28 seed Alisa Kleybanova from Russia; where she made a comeback to win 3–6, 6–4, 6–2. In the fourth round she faced World No. 16 and fellow Belgian, Yanina Wickmayer, defeating her in three sets 7–6, 1–6, 6–3. She then defeated No. 19 seed Nadia Petrova in the quarterfinals. Henin won 7–6, 7–5 after having been down 0–3 in the second set. She then went on to defeat Zheng Jie from China in the semifinals in convincing fashion 6–1, 6–0, setting up a clash with world No. 1 Serena Williams in the 2010 Australian Open ladies' final. This was the first time in their long rivalry that Henin and Serena Williams met in a Grand Slam final. Henin would eventually fall to Serena Williams in three sets 6–4, 3–6, 6–2.
Henin's next tournament was the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. Henin played through this tournament injured, having previously broken her left pinkie during Fed Cup practice. In the first round, Henin saw off German qualifier Julia Görges 7–6, 6–1. In her second round, she defeated world No. 12 and fellow Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, defeating her for the 2nd consecutive time, 6–3, 7–5. In the quarterfinals, she defeated fourth seed and world No. 7 Jelena Janković 3–6, 7–6, 6–3 for the tenth time in her career. She defeated world No. 20 Shahar Pe'er in the semifinals, 6–3, 6–2, and reached her third final in five tournaments this year. She faced world No. 10 Samantha Stosur. Henin won the final 6–4, 2–6, 6–1 in 100 minutes, to procure her first title in 2010 (in her 3rd final). Winning this tournament also sent Henin into the top 20 for the first time since her comeback.
Since March 2011, she has been in a relationship with Benoît Bertuzzo, a Belgian cameraman, and secretly married him in March 2015. On 12 September 2012, Henin announced that she was pregnant, giving birth to a girl in 2013. In 2017 she gave birth to a second child, a son.
On 26 January 2011, Henin announced her definitive retirement from professional tennis, due to an exacerbation of the elbow injury she sustained the previous year at Wimbledon.
Currently, Justine Henin is 40 years, 2 months and 15 days old. Justine Henin will celebrate 41st birthday on a Thursday 1st of June 2023.
Find out about Justine Henin birthday activities in timeline view here.