Monday, 7 December 2009

On Henin’s Return and the Reconcilability of “Where” and “Back”

henin(Photo: AP)

"It is another Justine Henin who will try and go out and achieve her dream of finally winning Wimbledon," she said.

"I don't know if it's possible but that makes it an even more passionate challenge for me."

"To be honest, I don't have any big expectations as regards results in Australia," she said.

"But I will be delighted just to return to the country again, I love it there, and to the official circuit.

"I've never regretted my decision to stop playing but now I'm really excited about the prospect of starting a second career that probably won't look anything like the first, at least in my mind."


Quite how probable a Wimbledon Title is for Justine 2.0 (or Justine 0.6 for that matter), is anyone’s guess.

She could quite reasonably be expected to blow away the competition, or be blown away by it.

I like it that she’s playing it cautious with regards to Oz , where she’ll face stiff competition from Shaza, Kimmie and the Williamses.

I don’t have any intention of mentioning anyone else in the same breath as that esteemed foursome, unless and until they prove themselves worthy of it.

As with Nadal, clay should answer a lot of philosophical and semantic questions of quite “where” Henin is - an altogether different question from whether one is “back”.

One may be “back” without us having the strictest idea of “where” they are; though we may also understand “where” they are without them necessarily being “back”.

Despite what happened in Davis Cup this weekend, it is not at all certain whether Nadal is “back”. Though we know only a little more about “where” he is. A frightening prospect for anyone but the very best, who tend to thrive on their instincts and abundant reserves of confidence.

In contrast, Djoko may or may not be “back”, but most of us have a well-defined appreciation of “where” he is.

The question of being “back” and of “where” a player is, is not subject to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle: it is incorrect to assert that being “back” somehow compromises our abilities (partially or in full) to determine “where” one is – indeed it is quite possible for us to determine that a player is “back”, having already gathered significant knowledge on their “whereabouts”.

But enough of that.

Justine defeated Flavlova at an Exho in Belgium this week – her first title of her second career. I’ve heard reports that the only discernible change to her serve is that she throws it a little higher.

But to me, it looks pretty good.

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