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Henin Nominated for Sportswoman of the Year
NEW YORK, NY, USA - Every year since 1980, the Women's Sports Foundation, which was founded by Billie Jean King, has honored excellence in women's sports through the Sportswoman of the Year Award. This year, the world's top-ranked female tennis player, Justine Henin, is one of eight individual women's sports standouts nominated to receive the coveted award.
The Sportswoman of the Year Award is presented annually to one individual and one team athlete whose performances during the preceding 12-month period have been exceptional. Criteria in the selection process include championships won, records set and awards received. The 2007 awards consider achievements in the period between August 1, 2006, and July 31, 2007.
Among Henin's stellar achievements during the aforementioned 12-month period are seven Sony Ericsson WTA Tour titles and a return to the world No.1 ranking.
Although she missed most of last fall with a right knee injury, Henin completed her 2006 season with a title at the Sony Ericsson Championships, a victory that would help her return to No.1 in the world right at season's end. She has won six of the 10 tournaments she has entered this year, including her sixth career Grand Slam at Roland Garros (becoming just the second woman in the Open Era to win three straight titles there after Monica Seles, who did it from 1990 to 1992).
Henin's competitors in the individual sports category are bowler Diandra Asbaty, snowboarder Torah Bright, triathlete Vanessa Fernandes, swimmer Jessica Long, golfer Lorena Ochoa, track star Sanya Richards and fencer Rebecca Ward.
The winners will be announced to the public and the awards will be presented at the Annual Salute to Women in Sports Awards Dinner on Monday, October 16, 2007, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
Former Sportswoman of the Year recipients from the tennis world are Tracy Austin (1980), Chris Evert (1981), Martina Navratilova (1982, 1983, 1984), Steffi Graf (1989) and the Williams sisters (as a team in 2000).
Founded back in 1974 by Billie Jean King, the Women's Sports Foundation is a charitable educational organization dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity. The Foundation's Participation, Education, Advocacy, Research and Leadership programs are made possible by individual and corporate contributions. For more information, please visit its official Web site, at www.womenssportsfoundation.org