Lagardère Unlimited announced they have signed a multi-year representation agreement with seven-time Grand Slam Champion (French Open 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, US Open 2003, 2007 & Australian Open 2004) and former Sony Ericsson WTA World #1 Justine Henin of Belgium. Henin, who was ranked #1 in the world in 2003, 2006 and 2007, captured 41 career singles titles before retiring from the Tour in 2008 while holding the #1 singles ranking. Recently, Henin made her comeback debut to the Tour in 2010 at the Brisbane International event where she received a wild card entry and advanced to the finals before falling to two-time Grand Slam Champion Kim Clijsters in a three-set, two-and-a-half hour battle.
Ken Meyerson, President of Lagardère Unlimited, will manage Henin after previous representing her for six years prior to her retirement to the Tour in 2008. Graham Cross and Kevin Obletz of Lagardère Unlimited will also assist Meyerson with the day-to-day responsibilities of Henin.
“I am absolutely delighted to be working with such a world class athlete,” stated Ken Meyerson. “Justine’s presence back on the tour is great for the game and we are delighted that she has resigned with us, a group that has done a good job in the past and will continue to do a great job moving forward.”
Henin is just 27-years-old and working with long-time coach Carlos Rodriguez who she opened the 6th Sense Tennis Academy with in Belgium at the end of 2007, and more recently their U.S. location just outside of Orlando, Florida, in 2008. Henin was the recipient of the 2008 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award (just third female tennis player to win the award, after Jennifer Capriati and Serena Williams in 2001 and 2002), and honored with the Great Cross of the Order of the Crown in 2004 given to her and Kim Clijsters by Belgian King Albert II amongst receiving numerous other awards during her professional tennis career. Earlier in her career in 2003, Henin founded her own foundation titled Justine’s Winners’ Circle to provide joy and hope to children with cancer.
“I am honored that Justine decided to join us. She is legend, a great example for everyone in the tennis world: the kids, the amateurs and the pros. She will be able to take advantage of our global network, and our strength in the media industry. I wish all the best for Justine; her accomplishments seem endless!” said Arnaud Lagardère.
Lagardère Unlimited is the talent management business unit of the Lagardère Group. With its headquarters in Paris, the company operates around the world. Currently, Lagardère Unlimited represents some of the best players on the ATP World Singles Tour including Andy Roddick, Fernando Gonzales, Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils.
Lagardère is a pure media group (books, press, broadcast, digital, travel retail and press distribution, sports trading and sports rights), and is among the world leaders in the sector. Lagardère holds a 7.5% stake in EADS, over which it exercises joint control. Lagardère shares are listed on Euronext Paris.