The two-time grand slam winner and former world number one speaks during a news conference where she announced her retirement, in Issy-Les-Moulineaux, near Paris, December 3, 2009.
Amélie Mauresmo, France's best female player since Suzanne Lenglen has decided to call it quits. This surely surprises no one. As a long time fan of hers, I'll miss the kind of tennis she produced but certainly not her on-court battles with herself, especially at her home Slam. Still, in a sport where controversy, real and manufactured, drives more and more of the narrative, Mauresmo stood tall as a woman of integrity and grace. From the WTA:
France's Amélie Mauresmo has brought the curtain down on a highly successful and memorable 17-year career, officially retiring from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Winner of 25 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles titles, three doubles titles and a two-time Grand Slam champion, Mauresmo marks the end of a career that saw her become one of the very best and most popular players in the history of women's tennis.
"I don't want to train anymore," Mauresmo explained. "I had to make a decision, which became evident in the last few months and weeks. When you grow older, it's more difficult to stay at the top. It's a bit sad, but this is the right decision. I was lucky enough to have an exceptional career and to experience very strong feelings on the court."
The 30-year-old exits the game having been one of only 19 players to have ever held the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour world No.1 ranking. Mauresmo ascended to the No.1 spot for the first time on September 13, 2004 and held it for five weeks. She recaptured the top ranking on March 20, 2006 and held it for the majority of that year, until November 12, bringing her total weeks at No.1 to 39, amassing the ninth most weeks at No.1 on the Tour.
Mauresmo posted her best season in 2006, winning her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open (leading 61 20 in the final when Justine Henin was forced to retire) and winning her second just a few months later at Wimbledon (defeating Henin 26 63 64 in the final), where she became the first French Wimbledon champion in the Open Era.
"Amélie will go down in history as one of the best players of her generation and a terrific ambassador for women's tennis," said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the Tour. "Amélie's accomplishments not only include winning two Grand Slam titles and becoming the first French player to reach the world No.1 ranking, but leading France to a Fed Cup victory, and generously donating her time to various social causes. Amélie is an extraordinary player, one of the nicest and friendliest personalities on Tour, and a true champion both in tennis and in life."
In this Jan. 28, 2006 file photo, France's Amelie Mauresmo holds her trophy aloft after winning the women's singles final against Belgium's Justine Henin-Hardenne at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia. Former top-ranked player Mauresmo has retired from tennis. The 30-year-old Frenchwoman, who finished the season ranked No. 21, said Thursday Dec.3, 2009 she was quitting the sport for good.
In this July 8 2006 file photo France's Amelie Mauresmo holds the Championship plate, after defeating Belgium's Justine Henin-Hardenne in the Women's Singles final on the Centre Court at Wimbledon. Mauresmo announced Thursday Dec.3, 2009 she retires from tennis. The 30-year-old Frenchwoman, who finished the season ranked No. 21, said Thursday she was quitting the sport for good.