Justine Henin has announced her retirement from tennis for the second time, saying her elbow injury will no longer allow her to compete successfully. In a statement on her website, Henin said, "I spent the last days undergoing various medical tests and they have confirmed that my elbow has been damaged by my adventure in Australia.
"My elbow is too fragile and hurt... Having followed the advice of doctors it is now clear and I accept that here my career ends.
"I'm sorry ... I had hoped for a different return and dreamed of a different ending."
Henin first retired from tennis in May 2008. After returning to the tour at the beginning of last year, she was forced to cut her season short after damaging the elbow at Wimbledon. Henin lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round of the Australian Open, admitting she was still not fully recovered from the injury.
Her full statement is as follows:
I address my letter to you because this is currently the best way to express meself, I now experience very difficult times. I have unfortunately not good news. I spent the last days undergoing various medical tests and they have confirmed that my elbow has been damaged by my adventure in Australia.
After my crash at Wimbledon in June, I knew it would be difficult to come back. But I had decided to keep playing and to give everything to overcome the injury. In these recent months I have rarely been spared from the pain, those last months were very hard. Time has passed, and the doubts have grown, and only return to the courts would give me answers. Not the answer I was hoping for... unfortunately. I suffered a lot the last week and every day gave me more and more pain, but I believed that my will would take the upper hand. Today, the examinations are clearly and and the doctors formally, my elbow is too fragile and hurt so that my passion and my profession at high level cannot continue to exist.
I'm in shock, of course, even whith the work of these past seven months I had to understand that there might be a reason for all this. After having well considered and following the advice of doctors, it is now clear and I accept that my career here ... ... finally ends. Even though it's hard, very hard, while I came back with a tremendous fighting spirit.
I'm sorry ... I had hoped for a different return and dreamed of a different ending. I will need time to process all this, but I remain convinced that even with little progress, my level with my return did not meet my expectations, despite everything I've learned a lot over the past 15 months.
I turn, and this time, an incredible page of my life ... What a wonderful trip, I have experience during all these years. Today I'm calmer and I can create a positive and rewarding look back on this experience in my life.
I would never have reached this level all alone, and I insist to thank all persons who sticked with me during adventures. My coach and my friend Carlos, my family, my friends, my whole team, all those who helped me when it was hard and have shared in my joy. Thank you to my partners for the confidence they have given me, for their support in all circumstances. Thanks to my medical staff who, these last months, were always available and always with great professionalism there for me.
Finally and most importantly, thanks everyone. Thanks for standing by my side during all these years. I will never forget your support and your loyalty. And if I only regret one thing, this would be that I've protected myself too hard and that I couldn’t stand closer to you.
I hope you will forgive me my clumsiness and a wonderful reminder of shared emotions will keep them together.
On the way to new adventures ...
See you soon, anywhere ...
The WTA confirmed the retirement in a news release.