Belgian great Henin receives ITF’s highest honor

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LONDON — The International Tennis Federation has awarded Justine Henin its highest honor, the Philippe Chatrier Award.

Henin won seven Grand Slam singles titles and an Olympic gold medal and was part of Belgium’s team that won the Fed Cup, now called the Billie Jean King Cup, in 2001.

The award, named after the former ITF president, was introduced in 1996 and recognizes people who have made significant contributions to the sport on and off the court.

“She was one of the best players of her generation on the court and since retirement has made a significant and ongoing contribution to our sport at all levels,” ITF president David Haggerty said Saturday.

The 41-year-old Henin has established a successful academy in Belgium and a charitable foundation that helps provide sporting opportunities for children with disabilities.

The award will be presented Saturday at the ITF World Champions Awards at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

“I always gave my very best throughout my career and achieved a lot of success,” Henin said. “I have worked very hard since retirement to give back to the sport that I love, and I will continue to do so. Tennis is a unique and brilliant sport that provides benefits for people’s physical and mental health.”

Henin won the French Open four times, the US Open twice and the Australian Open once. She was a two-time runner-up at Wimbledon. She won Olympic gold at the 2004 Athens Games.

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