When Justine Henin announced her retirement from tennis in 2008 when still world No 1, few would have predicted that her return would be so spectacular.
Henin made her return to tennis at the Brisbane International in January, where she was given a wild card, and instantly reached the final, though she lost to her Belgian compatriot Kim Clijsters.
The unranked, unseeded Henin repeated the feat in the Australian Open, reaching the final where she faced Serena Williams, ironically the first time in their long rivalry that they have met in a Grand Slam final.
It was Henin’s first Grand Slam tournament for two years and she eventually lost in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, but it was still a fantastic performance after being away from tennis for so long. As she said: “It was almost perfect, just the last step, I couldn’t make it.”
Later in the year Henin won the Porsche Grand Prix to put herself into the top 20 in the world rankings, then added the Unicef Open, beating Andrea Petkovic to take her 43rd career title.