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Top 5 World No. 1 female players who have not completed a Career Slam

Neelabhra Roy
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
26 Sep 2016, 10:06 IST

#4. Justine Henin

Henin lost the two Wimbledon finals she played in 2001 and 2006

In an era where the Williams sisters were the premier dominants of Women’s tennis, two players from Belgium gave them a tough fight, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin. Henin was clearly the better one. Known for all-court and offensive play and footwork, Henin was one of the finest players of her generation and had held the top position in the WTA rankings for 117 weeks.

She won 43 WTA singles titles including seven Grand Slam titles including an Australian Open title in 2004, two US Open titles in 2003 and 2007 and four French Open titles in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007. However, Henin never got an opportunity to lay her hands on the coveted Wimbledon trophy, having reached the final in 2001 and 2006.

2001 was Henin’s breakthrough year and having made it to the semis of the French Open, Henin was considered to be a tough competitor for the Wimbledon title. In the quarter, she battered 1994 champion Conchita Martinez 6-1, 6-0 and then stunned tournament favorite and reigning Australian and French Open champion Jennifer Capriati to set up a final encounter with reigning champion Venus Williams.

After losing the first set 1-6, Henin bounced back to take the second set 6-3 but was no match for her in the third set, losing 0-6 and subsequently the match. She made the semis in the following two tournaments, losing to the Williams sisters on both occasions (Venus in 2002 and Serena in 2003).

 After a disappointing first round outing in 2005, Henin reached her second Wimbledon final in 2006, beating her compatriot and rival Kim Clijsters in the semi-finals. However, she was once again beaten, this time by then-World No.1 Amelie Mauresmo despite taking the first set in a match that was characterized by powerful baseliners. She was the overwhelming favorite to complete her Career slam in the 2007 tournament but was beaten in the semi-finals by eventual runner-up and future champion Marion Bartoli despite being a set and a break-up. Despite being the first and the only Belgian player to be inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Henin will surely be ruing her missed opportunities in the Wimbledon finals in 2001 and 2006 that denied her a Career slam.

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