This is not Monica and Steffi, which is a totally different case. But I don't think there's any denying that Steffi capitalized on Monica's hiatus. However, it doesn't mean she wouldn't have won plenty of grand slams even with Monica there. That is not the case with Justine and Serena -- at least not to this point. If Justine comes back and wins anything other than the French, I'd be surprised.
Actually had Monica not been stabbed, I personaly feel Steffi may well have never won another slam outside Wimbledon. Monica was over four years younger than Steffi, had won every Australian, French, and U.S open, for 2 plus years; and their 93 Australian match was far more lopsided than their prior-none grass meeting at the 92 French Open. She had been dominant for over 2 years which puts her dominance at a different level than Serena, Venus, or Hingis have yet proven to have(
well of course Hingis never will).
As for Justine ever winning a slam outside the French, it wouldnt
surprise me if she did. After all Sharapova and Kuznetsova managed to do it in the last year, and I dont consider Henin inferior to them at this point, especially Kuznetsova. I certainly am not going to draw the conclusion Serena will win every non-French slam just because she returned to the grand slam winners circle again.
Back to the Venus and Henin French Open debate here are my final two statements on that. Your initial point was that I was wrong in saying the thought of Venus winning the French this year being laughable, based on Venus's succes on clay last year. My main point, which I may have gotten away from somewhat, is that Venus had her clay court streak last year without facing any one of Henin, Clijsters, Serena, Capriati, Davenport, Mauresmo, or Myskina. My point is her streak without facing a single one of those players does nothing to make the thought of her winning the French this year, at this point in time anyway, when she is losing in 4th rounds of slams on her favorite surfaces, anything but laughable. As for my statements on Henin I never said she was a goddess on clay. However while your feel her 4 clay court wins doesnt make her the best, from my perspective her 4 clay court wins in the last 3 years, combined with her French title and other semi showing in the last 4 years, gives her the best record on clay of any of the women in that recent period. Even with her two French Open flameouts, only Serena has had a better showing the last 4 years, but Serena has won only 2 clay court tournaments I believe. So I feel justified in my belief she is the best clay courter when she is healthy and playing well.