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Early Sunset

May 16, 2008

Justine Henin's sudden retirement not only sent shock waves through the tennis world but brought back into focus the physical and emotional grind of the game.

A look at some high-profile tennis careers that ended earlier than they should have.


Six French Opens, five back-to-back titles at Wimbledon and Borg had the world eating out of his hands.

His biggest rival John McEnroe refused to believe he was human; they said ice ran through his veins. Only, the 'coolest' player ever to have set foot on the tennis courts was exploding inside.

All those supressed emotions and frustrations gave way as Borg suffered a near breakdown in 1981. After playing in only one tournament the following year, he announced retirement from tennis in 1983, at the age of 26.

His attempts to scramble back on the tour came unstuck and he disappeared from the scene altogether in 1993.

Text: Deepti Patwardhan. Photographs: AFP/Getty Images


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