Friday, May 16, 2008

Leave at the top

Justine Henin’s announcement of the retirement came as a surprise for me. I was eagerly waiting to watch (follow) her in French open coming up soon.

Some thoughts after reading the news –

1. Leave as #1:

Very few can leave the arena while sitting comfortably on the pinnacle. It sounds great and is better than dragging till the people start hating or ignoring the person. It needs a lot of guts to do – it means foregoing a lot of fame and money not to forget the effort and sacrifices taken to reach that position. But, ultimately it boils down to the individual preferences. In Henin’s case, early burnout is the obvious reason.

2. Unsung heroes:

Henin is my favorite of the current generation women tennis players. I generally admire achievers who are not gifted, but reach their goals through hard-work and perseverance; the unsung heroes whose services and greatness are hardly recognized.

Henin was one such player. She might not be glamorous as most of the other players in the tour, but I like watching her play, the power generated from her forehand shots is very deceptive considering her lean body frame. Sadly, her retirement has not drawn as much attention as Anna’s did.

If reaching the top is an achievement, leaving as the numero uno is a bigger one. But, it is appreciated only when you have nothing else left to be achieved. I think this is not the case for Henin. She still has to conquer Wimbledon to get her name added to all time greats.
I believe she can do it and I wish she would return following the example of Martina Hingis.

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