In a farewell press conference, the newly-retired Justine Henin rued her bad luck and confronted those who spread rumors of her allegedly doping.
"I regard ending my career more like a sentence that's been handed down than a decision I've made," said Henin, who retired for the second time because of elbow problems. "I've had to deal with a lot of injuries throughout my career but this time, at 29, I just can't go on. You have to be reasonable about things. When I came back from Australia, I had consultations with three different doctors. The will is there, but physically I can't do it. It got to the point that I needed 10 minutes in the morning just to get my elbow functional. The ligament wasn't solid enough to handle the intensity of the game. For me, it's like a sentence. Now I have to mourn the end of my career."
Henin reportedly asked that any journalists who participated in the doping rumors leave the room where the press conference was being held.
"That hurts me, and all the people who have been part of my entourage. I can't accept that, nor will I forget or forgive. I have never cheated," the Belgian said.
Henin also denied rumors that she will sell her tennis club, "Justine N1" in Limelette, but said a new team is being put in place there as well as at her academy in Florida.—Matthew Cronin