Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Mauresmo first attained the top ranking on 13 September 2004, holding it for five weeks on that occasion. She was the fourteenth World No.
1 in women's tennis since the computer rankings began. She is well known for her powerful one-handed backhand and strong net play. She officially announced her retirement from professional tennis on 3 December 2009, ending a career of ten years. She returned to Wimbledon in 2010, acting as a grass court advisor for Frenchman and 2007 Wimbledon doubles champion Michaël Llodra.
The unseeded Mauresmo reached the Australian Open final in 1999 with wins over three seeded players, including World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, before falling to World No. 2 Martina Hingis. Mauresmo was only the second Frenchwoman ever to reach the Australian Open final (Mary Pierce was the first, winning the championship in 1995). She was only the third Frenchwoman to reach any Grand Slam final during the open era.
Mauresmo defeated Hingis later in the year, en route to the final of the Paris indoor event.
After the defeat of Davenport at the Australian Open Mauresmo, 19 at the time, came out as a lesbian to the international press.
Mauresmo reached the semifinals at Wimbledon, where she lost to Serena Williams in three sets after Mauresmo had won the first set and was up a break in the second set. Mauresmo reached the quarterfinals of the three other Grand Slam tournaments and won three Tier I titles in Rome, Berlin, and Montreal.
Mauresmo won a silver medal in singles at the Olympic Games in Athens, where she was defeated by Belgian Justine Henin in the final.
On 13 September 2004, Mauresmo became the first French tennis player to become World No. 1 since the computer rankings began in the 1970s. She held that ranking for five weeks and was the second woman, after Kim Clijsters, to have attained the top spot without having won a Grand Slam title.At the US Open, Mauresmo lost to Mary Pierce in the quarterfinals.
Mauresmo claimed her first singles title at the WTA Tour Championships. She defeated Pierce in the final after losing to Pierce in a round robin match at that tournament.
At the Australian Open, Mauresmo captured her first Grand Slam singles title, defeating Belgian former World No. 1 players Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin en route. Both opponents retired from their respective matches, Clijsters with a right ankle sprain in the third set of their semifinal and Henin from gastroenteritis in the final. Mauresmo was leading in both matches at the time of the retirements, by against Henin.
Mauresmo then won her next two tournaments, the Open Gaz de France tournament in Paris (defeating Mary Pierce in the final) and the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp (defeating Clijsters in the final).
At the Qatar Total Open in Doha, Mauresmo defeated Martina Hingis in a semifinal but lost to Nadia Petrova in the final. Had she won the final, she would have immediately regained the World No. 1 ranking from Clijsters. Nonetheless, the outcome was sufficient to ensure Mauresmo's return to the World No. 1 ranking on 20 March 2006.
Mauresmo then reached the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, where she lost to the eventual champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Mauresmo lost in the fourth round of the French Open to Czech teenager Nicole Vaidišová . Mauresmo next suffered a first round loss at the Wimbledon warm-up tournament in Eastbourne. However, Mauresmo and Kuznetsova won the doubles title there, their first as a team and Mauresmo's second overall.
Mauresmo was the top seed at Wimbledon. She defeated Anastasia Myskina in a quarterfinal and Maria Sharapova in a semifinal and then came back to defeat Henin in the final. The victory was Mauresmo's second Grand Slam singles title and the first on grass. She was also the first Frenchwoman since Suzanne Lenglen to win Wimbledon.She then pulled out of the Fed Cup World Group I playoff tie against the Czech Republic due to a groin injury sustained during Wimbledon. She also withdrew from the Rogers Cup in Montreal.Her next tournament was the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament in New Haven, Connecticut, where she lost in the quarterfinals to Lindsay Davenport.At the US Open, Mauresmo lost to Sharapova in the semifinals . This was the first time in the open era that a female had lost two sets at love in a US Open semifinal.Mauresmo then reached the final of the China Open, losing to Kuznetsova. During the tournament, Mauresmo won 137 ranking points to help preserve her World No. 1 ranking and ended a nine-match losing streak to Davenport stretching back to January 2000 in Sydney.To conclude the year, Mauresmo reached the final of the WTA Tour Championships in Madrid, losing to Henin, . Mauresmo finished the year ranked World No. 3, behind Henin and Sharapova.
Mauresmo started the year in Australia with a quarterfinal loss to Jelena Janković at the tournament in Sydney. At the Australian Open in Melbourne, Mauresmo lost in the fourth round to Lucie Šafářová after winning her first three matches in straight sets.
Mauresmo's next tournament was the Open Gaz de France, where she lost in the semifinals to Nadia Petrova after Mauresmo led 4–1 in the final set and had a match point in the tiebreak. This was Mauresmo's third loss in the last four matches with Petrova. In her next tournament at the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp, Belgium, Mauresmo defeated Kim Clijsters in the final. This was Mauresmo's third consecutive title there, earning her the diamond encrusted racquet that comes with winning the title at least three times in five years. The trophy cost US$1.3 million. Mauresmo then played the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open, where she lost to Justine Henin in the final.
On 16 March 2007, Mauresmo received the Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'honneur from President Jacques Chirac.
Mauresmo was scheduled to play the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida but was forced to withdraw because of acute appendicitis. She also withdrew from the Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, Florida for the same reason. Although she had resumed training, she was not fit enough to compete at the J & S Cup in Warsaw, Poland.