Williams sisters make life tough for teenagers: Henin
London: The Williams sisters' vice-like grip on the women's game and a generation of players that have been carried to greater heights by their exploits has made life tough for the aspiring teen-ager, says Justine Henin.
The 28-year-old Belgian, who won seven Grand Slam titles before taking 18 months out of the game when aged 25, said the extraordinary level of skills and fitness attained by Venus and Serena has made it hard for teens to make the breakthrough.
The women's elite used to be peppered with youngsters who were barely out of school before they were competing for majors, but Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki is now the only woman under 20 inside the world's top 30.
Henin returned from an early retirement to reach the Australian Open final in January, 27-year-old Kim Clijsters completed her own fairytale return to win the US Open after a two-and-a-half-year absence while Serena and Venus, 28 and 30 respectively, are ranked one and two in the world.
"It's been an amazing generation; Serena, Venus, Kim, a lot of other players that are playing probably their best tennis maybe a little later," Henin told reporters.
"Serena and Venus brought a lot to the game because they really pushed us physically and mentally to get better. And I think they did an amazing job for women's tennis, as we really had to get better after them.
"So it was interesting. Now we'll see. A lot of the young players are very close to winning. But we'll see where it's going to happen and when."