Days after Kim Clijsters announced her return last September, the Russia-born French player did likewise after retiring aged 20
In the dying months of the 2007 women’s tennis season, a new contender was emerging. As Justine Henin dominated the world, for a few fleeting weeks the second best player around was a 19-year-old from France named Tatiana Golovin. It had been a long time coming.
Golovin grew up at Florida’s famous Bollettieri academy from the age of seven, in perpetual competition with Maria Sharapova. By 16 she was ranked 26th and a prodigy, the 2004 WTA newcomer of the year. Injuries and pressure followed, but she finished 2007 on the verge of exceptional results. “I felt everything was coming together,” she remembers.
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