Paris Bids Adieu to Amélie
Published February 10, 2010 12:00
Through a guard of honor former by ballboys, Mauresmo entered Center Court, where she won three titles. She was joined by fellow Sony Ericsson WTA Tour stars Elena Dementieva, Flavia Pennetta, Francesca Schiavone, Patty Schnyder, Tathiana Garbin, Alisa Kleybanova, Julie Coin, Virginie Razzano, Alizé Cornet, Tatiana Golovin and Nathalie Dechy.
After a short film of her career highlights, Dementieva spoke on behalf of the players: "I am feeling very sad as Amélie Mauresmo, one of the brightest players of our times, is ending her tennis career. I think future generations in France will name this time the era of Mauresmo. Of course there are and will be new up-and-coming players but Amélie, as a person and a player, will always be remembered and I doubt that anyone will ever fill her place.
"Our paths in the sport always crossed. We have played against each other many times and our matches have always been true battles, but here in France she has been supported just a little bit more than me! I believe life does not end when tennis ends. I am sure Amélie, you will find yourself successful in anything you decide to do after tennis. Whatever you choose to do, I am sure you will reach the same success - talented people are talented in everything!"
Five competition winners got the chance to ask Mauresmo a question, then French comedian Michel Boujenah came on court to talk about her, and how not only she, but the whole of France, had lived through her highs and lows. Her mother then came on court and presented her with a bouquet of flowers and was followed into the stadium by key figures from her career - including former Fed Cup captain Guy Forget, her press manager Alexia Dechaume, and others.
"I am very touched by this and all these surprises," Mauresmo said.