Tuesday, September 22, 2009

JuJu Jumps Back In

Yeah, I was wrong. Justine Henin is coming back to tennis. Early next year, probably - Australian Open time.

But you know what? She can smile and say 'yay tennis!' as much as she wants... I still don't believe it.

Oh, I believe she's coming back. She said so, and she's nothing if not determined. But that is one of the main reasons I'm thinking that this comeback might not be so successful. When she retired, she was set. No more tennis. Tennis bad. No fire. No love. And I just don't know if a year is long enough to change that.

JuJu's greatest strength was never really that she loved tennis - as I said yesterday, I don't know if she ever did love tennis for itself - but that she loved competition. She loved tennis because she was good at it, and when her game started to fail her in the clay season last year, it was pull the plug, bye bye tennis. She didn't see the need to try and fight through it. She just pulled the plug.

It's really easy to make comparisons to Clijsters - the Belgians have been rivals for many a year - and if one is back, it stands to reason that the other won't be far behind. But I just can't see JuJu being quite as successful as Kim is - particularly because Kim's comeback started with such a bang. I know the WTA isn't exactly a place where the bar is set especially high at the moment, but I somehow can't see JuJu coming back and winning the Australian Open first go. And knowing that Kim managed to do that with the US Open... that's got to be galling.

And so that competitiveness might work against her. It's going to take a while to get back to where she was - even if the field isn't so hot, she can't expect just to slot right back into the top spot in the WTA and continue her domination. And that is something I think she'll find incredibly frustrating.

But you know what, JuJu? I want you to prove me wrong.

Today's Results

BCR Open Romania (Bucharest)

Oscar Hernandez def. Victor Hanescu, 7-6 (7-5) 6-4
Nicolas Almagro def. Simone Bolelli, 6-4 6-3
Juan Monaco def. Julio Silva, 6-2 6-4
Santiago Ventura def. Igor Andreev, 6-4 6-1
Albert Montanes def. Potito Starace, 6-4 6-2
Daniel Koellerer def. Filippo Volandri, 2-6 7-5 6-3
Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo def. Andreas Seppi, 6-4 6-4
Pere Riba def. Frederico Gil, 7-5 5-7 6-2
Marius Copil def. Victor Crivoi, 6-3 6-2
Alberto Martin def. Florent Serra, 4-6 6-0 6-4
Maximo Gonzalez def. Olivier Rochus, 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 6-4
Fabio Fognini def. Daniel Gimeno-Traver, 1-6 6-4 6-3

Open de Moselle (Metz)

Christophe Rochus def. Fabrice Santoro, 0-6 6-4 7-6 (7-3)
Evgeny Korolev def. Benjamin Becker, 6-2 6-3
Ivan Ljubicic def. Sebastien de Chaunac, 4-6 6-1 7-6 (7-1)
Marc Gicquel def. Roman Valent, 6-3 6-1
Denis Istomin def. Andrey Golubev, 6-2 6-4
Thierry Ascione def. Adrian Mannarino, 7-6 (7-5) 6-4
Janko Tipsarevic def. Arnaud Clement, 6-4 6-4
Richard Gasquet def. Michael Berrer, 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-5)

Hansol Korea Open (Seoul)

Anabel Medina Garrigues def. Andrea Petkovic, 6-3 6-4
Francesca Schiavone def. Yurika Sema, 6-1 6-4
Anna-Lena Groenefeld def. Sorana Cirstea, 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-3
Alisa Kleybanova def. Katarina Srebotnik, 6-2 6-3
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova def. Angela Haynes, 7-6 (7-5) 6-2
Vera Dushevina def. Urszula Radwanska, 6-3 6-1
Sybille Bammer def. Ekaterina Makarova, 2-6 6-4 6-4
Magdalena Rybarikova def. Alberta Briani, 6-2 6-2
Maria Kirilenko def. Sophie Ferguson, 4-6 6-1 6-2
Anastasija Sevastova def. Mathilde Johansson, 6-2 7-5
Chan Yung-Jan def. Junri Namigata, 6-3 6-3
Chanelle Scheepers def. Kim So-Jung, 6-1 6-3
Meghann Shaughnessy def. Yoo Mi, 6-0 6-3
Chang Kai-Chen def. Viktoriya Kutuzova, 6-4 6-3

Tashkent Open (Tashkent)

Yaroslava Shvedova def. Maria Elena Camerin, 6-1 6-1
Ekaterina Bychkova def. Ioana Raluca Olaru, 7-5 7-5
Monica Niculescu def. Corinna Dentoni, 6-3 6-0
Patricia Mayr def. Ekaterina Dzehalevich, 7-5 6-4
Vesna Manasieva def. Aleksandra Kolesnichenko, 6-1 6-1
Akhul Amanmuradova def. Ksenia Lykina, 6-1 4-6 6-3
Evgeniya Rodina def. Kristina Kucova, 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1)
Kathrin Woerle def. Sabina Sharipova, 7-6 (7-0) 7-5
Darya Kustova def. Yuliana Fedak, 6-2 6-4
Ekaterina Ivanova def. Lenka Wienerova, 7-6 (7-5) 7-5
Alexandra Panova def. Sandra Zahlavova, 6-2 6-1
Nigina Abduraimova def. Lesya Tsurenko, 6-3 6-2

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