It seems like we’re losing a lot of longtime vets to this decade, on both the men’s and women’s side. Amelie, Safin, Santoro, Ai AND Akiko (although we did get Kimiko Date back), Virgina Pascual, Dechy, Loit. Lots of scrappy, underdog players, the ones I enjoy rooting for the most. Sigh.
I, too, am sad to see Amelie go… her grace under the pressure of her sexuality was always incredible. People said that she looked and played like a man during an Aussie Open and she never complained. I wish her the very best.
Let me be the first to say “Mauresmo for the Tennis Hall of Fame!” — I doubt anyone here would doubt her credentials, but should there be any naysayers, I offer the following:
Former No. 1
25 career titles
2003 Fed Cup – Mauresmo anchored the French team, which beat the United States in the final
2005 WTA Tour Championships – Mauresmo d. Mary Pierce in the final
2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon – Mauresmo won both Slam event titles, notably beating Justine Henin “fair and square” at Wimbledon, removing any shadow of doubt that may have been cast on her Oz trophy when Justine quit that final
Well she will be missed. Over the past couple of years, she’s fallen out of the “tennis chatterbox,” however; she will be remembered for her game of beautiful stokes.
Hall of fame? hmmm….I don’t think she quite up there.
As far as tennis personalities goes, Amelie Mauresmo was one of my favorites. There was an innocence and frailty about her which really captivated me. We witnessed these moments when she was able to overcome her nerves in the pressure filled moments to win matches and events. She was a consummate underdog no matter what her rank was, I was rooting for her every every step of the way in her career. Amelie was also the embodiment of duality on and off the court. Her interviews were a mix of confidence and underlying uncertainty in post match interviews. Her muscular physique was matched with a sensitivity in her voice, smile, and eyes. Her match play displayed an array of aggression at crucial moments and an unraveling of her nerves at set or match points–it was beautiful tension. I’m really going to miss her on the scene and she most deservedly should be considered for the Tennis Hall of Fame.
So strong at such a young age, a true trailblazer. As Jon Wertheim said at SI.com, the WTA’s collective IQ just dropped in a major way. She’s a bona fide sportswoman and a class act. So glad she realized her potential, won some majors, and ascended to no. 1 for a time. Such a fluid style.
I too am saddened to see Amelie retire. If Justine and Kim weren’t playing in 2010 I probably would stop watching women’s tennis altogether. The new generation of players really isn’t grabbing my attention. At the same time I understand and respect Amelie’s decision. This past year she was clearly grappling with motivation and her mostly lackluster results showed it.
As a gay men I’ve always admired Amelie for not hiding or underplaying her sexuality, as so many on the WTA tour seem to do. It’s a good thing Rennae Stubbs is still on the tour.
Beyond that her tennis was incredible. In an 8-stroke rally she could hit the ball completely differently each time. It’s not for nothing that Dick Enberg, Mary Carillo, and other commentators would all but drool over her game. I also found her to be quite funny and refreshingly candid in her interviews, without ever being snide or bitchy or disrespectful of her opponents.