Justine Henin,struggling with an elbow injury suffered at Wimbledon,announced on Wednesday she was calling time on this season. The former world number one,in a statement on her personal website,insisted this decision did not spell the end of her career as she would now set about preparing for a comeback in 2011. Henin told her fans: Ive had a series of medical tests in the past few days. The healing process is taking its course and is heading in the right direction. Unfortunately though it is taking time. This means I must be patient.
In order to be at my best in 2011 and so as not to take any risks I hope to resume training at the start of October and continue to work flat out to attack the new season.
The 28-year-old Belgian star suffered a partial ruptured ligament in her right elbow in a fall at Wimbledon six months after her return from retirement. She returned with all guns blazing,making the final of the Australian Open. Henin and Serena Williams,who denied her in Australia,feature in the list of players signed up for the mixed teams eight-nation Hopman Cup starting on January 1 in Perth.
Meanwhile,a sleepy Kim Clijsters woke up in time to claim a 4-6 6-4 6-3 second round win over American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands at the Montreal Cup on Wednesday and continue her perfect buildup to the U.S. Open.
While there was nothing close to perfection about Clijsters performance against her 101-ranked opponent,the Belgian remains unbeaten on North American hardcourts this summer,rattling off six straight wins as she prepares to defend her title at Flushing Meadows this month.
Several other players flashed their hardcourt credentials on a blustery day in Montreal,including Russian fourth seed Elena Dementieva,who opened the defence of her Canadian crown in convincing style by sweeping past Czech Klara Zakopalova 6-2 6-4.
Danish world number two Caroline Wozniacki,the woman Clijsters beat in the final to lift the U.S. Open title last year,claimed a tough 7-5 7-5 win over plucky Swiss Patty Schnyder to notch her first ever win on Canadian hardcourts.
Former world number one Dinara Safina displayed promising signs that the back problems that have plagued her for a year may finally be over as the Russian battled to a 7-5 4-6 6-4 win over compatriot Nadia Petrova. The victory marked the first time since the Australian Open that Safina has won back-to-back matches.
At Cincinnati Masters,Roger Federer joined Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the third round. Federer advanced when his opponent,qualifier Denis Istomin,hurt his right foot and ankle during a rally and had to quit the match after only 28 minutes.
In a third-round match on Thursday,Andy Murray defeated Latvian Ernests Gulbis 4-6,6-3,7-6 (4). In doubles,Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi advanced to the quarter-finals after getting a walk over but it was all over for Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Quershi who lost 7-5 7-6 (3) to Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski.