Joshua Gibson praises the rare creature that is Justine Henin’s game.
To watch Justine Henin play tennis was to see something at once indestructible and fragile. She was a creature of another era, emerging from Belgium like a coelacanth from the deep. In a time when her contemporaries were increasingly tall, muscular and strong, Henin was only 5’6″; there didn’t seem to be a place for such a player eight years ago. (Speed and a beautiful backhand will only get you so far, even if that backhand is the most technically-perfect backhand in the sport, men’s included.) Henin should have been crushed, left to linger somewhere in the top 20. But she refused this offer. She wanted to be the best. And for much of the last five years she has been the best.
The numbers only begin to do her justice: (more…)