So, I’m not much of a tennis lover (not got my head around that silly scoring system) but I’ve got a lot of respect for Justine Henin’s decision to walk away from the game. I hate watching sports stars in decline. I even wrote about this once. Part of what makes great athletes great, is that they understand the importance of their legacy and their legend. The toughest thing of all is knowing when you’re hurting your legacy by continuing to play. Don’t give me all that “love of the game” stuff. when you’re past it, give it up and spare your fans the agony of watching you play into senior citizenship.
Most people I talk to remember Muhammad Ali for the Rumble in the Jungle and the Thrilla’ in Manilla. But not me, I can’t forget about the beating he took from Trevor Berbick, of all people, in his final fight.
Henin’s only 25, and she could probably be a competitive player for years yet. But she never wanted to be “competitive”, she wanted to be a champion. Now, that’s how she’ll be remembered.
Good for her.