Former No 1 Justine Henin retired from tennis for a second time on Wednesday, citing a lingering elbow injury that cut short her comeback from a glittering career that included seven Grand Slam titles.
"I have undergone several tests the past few days, confirming that my elbow has sustained a lot more damage during my adventure in Australia," the 28-year-old Belgian said on her website.
She made the announcement five days after losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 7-6 (8) in the third round of the Australian Open.
"The past few weeks, there was a little bit more pain every day, but I thought my willpower would prevail. Today, the tests and my doctors are adamant," Henin said.
She was ranked No 1 when she abruptly announced her retirement in 2008, only to return 20 months later and reach last year's Australian Open final.
She partially tore a ligament in her right elbow in a tumble at Wimbledon last year and hasn't been the same since.
"It is clear now that I have to accept that my career ends for good," said Henin, currently ranked No 13.
"Even if it is hard, very hard, at a time when I came back with enormous fighting spirit."
She had been slated to face the United States in a Fed Cup match along with Kim Clijsters next week.