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Justine Henin: From Tragedy to Triumph Hardcover – August 19, 2008

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Justin Henin is one of the most talented women EVER to have played the game of tennis." --Andre Agassi

 

"The player I most like to watch. She has the best backhand in the game--male or female." --John McEnroe.

"Justine is the best women's athlete I've EVER seen." --Billie Jean King

"She is head and shoulders above everyone else…" --Martina Navratilova

 

About the Author

MARK RYAN is a freelance writer and sports journalist with more than twenty years' experience in newspapers. He covered Wimbledon for the Mail on Sunday for many of those years. He has also known the Henin family since 2001. He lives in England.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (August 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312536755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312536756
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,990,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Lloyd J. Peasley on May 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
NOT the book about Justine Henin its subject deserves; rather her story as told through her estranged family's eyes - and subject to all the distortions and misrepresentations that entails.

The author has been a confidant of the Henin family ever since Justine reached the Wimbledon Final in 2001 and he was sent by his paper to interview her estranged father in Belgium. He maintained contact with the family throughout the extrangement and so this book devotes as much time to them as to Justine herself. Unsurprisingly the book is much stronger on her early years before the breakdown in relations but is very weak while detailing the meat of her career. Almost all of the material from 2001-6 could've been gleaned from newpaper articles and there is little insight into any aspect of her life during these years. The author had no contact with Henin herself during this time.

Unsurprisingly, the account of these years is tinged with bitterness. Henin is portrayed as ruthless and her fans will bristle at the finger-pointing accounts Ryan gives of a couple of on-court incidents where she is (unfairly in my opinion) vilified as a virtual cheat. Equally, she is viewed as the main culprit (along with her coach and her boyfriend) in the breakdown with her family.

The account of her career is spotty and unsatisfying, leaving out whole chunks and devoting more space to three or four notable matches than to entire years of her career. And the tennis analysis is mundane, giving us little insight into her unique abilities.

However, the inside information on her family background is interesting and I learnt things I hadn't seen elsewhere. Even here, however, I found the account sketchy and incomplete.
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