Mauresmo Calls It A Career
Published December 03, 2009 12:00
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - 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."
Mauresmo turned professional in 1993 and won her first Tour singles title in 1999 at Bratislava. For the next eight years, she won at least one Tour singles title every year and qualified for the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships for eight consecutive years (1999 to 2006), winning the title in 2005 and reaching the final in 2006 (falling to Henin). Mauresmo was a singles finalist on 23 occasions, including the 1999 Australian Open (falling to Hingis) and the 2003 Sony Ericsson Championships, along with clinching the silver medal at the 2004 Sydney Olympic Games.
Through much of her career, Mauresmo proudly served on the French Fed Cup team, representing her country throughout eleven seasons and contributing to France's second ever Fed Cup victory in 2003 (winning both her singles matches over the USA in straight sets).
In addition, Mauresmo received several notable awards during her career including the 2007 Legion of Honor, presented by former French President Jacques Chirac. In 2006, she earned the Tour Player of the Year distinction and Laureus Breakthrough of the Year award. On a social cause level, Mauresmo has donated her time and efforts to the Curie Institute of France (research and treatment of cancer) and in 2004 was named official ambassador of Habitat for Humanity, the joint official European social cause between the Tour and Whirlpool.
Mauresmo played her last professional match at the 2009 US Open, where she was defeated by Alexandra Wozniak, 64 60, in the second round. She posted seven Top 10 wins during her final season and captured her 25th singles title, winning on home turf at the Open GDF SUEZ in Paris.