As Marion Bartoli lifted the crown jewel of world tennis, the Venus Rosewater Dish, eulogies were beginning to be written not only for her, but rewritten for her coach, Amelie Mauresmo.
The two Frenchwomen first started their relationship as Fed Cup teammates. Today, Mauresmo trains Bartoli – a partnership so strong that it proved worthy in this year’s Wimbledon. But both players didn’t enjoy a ride of slides and swings in tennis. Two stories that have had its own share of headlines came to unite at this year’s Wimbledon.
When Amelie Mauresmo, the “Golden Girl of French Tennis”, announced her retirement at a press conference in December of 2009, the tennis world was held to a standstill. Her primary reason in not wanting to continue with the sport was her unwillingness to train day in, day out.
Tennis is a sport of strenuous training where one’s fitness comes into utmost test. But this gruesome test of one’s physical endeavours causes fluctuation in emotions that take a toll on even the game’s best. Mauresmo was one such that obliged to it and admitted that her peak was over.
The lady who mesmerized the tennis world when she entered the fray during the Australian Open in 1999 (where she unexpectedly reached the final) , quit after a glorious but tumultuous run in the sport.
As Martina Hingis beat Mauresmo in the Australian Open final, the world keenly awaited for the Frenchwoman to reach the upper echelons of women’s tennis sooner than later.
It took her time but when she did, she ensured her stay in the Top 10 was one that would last long enough to earn her a mention amongst ‘the game’s never to be forgotten’. Her fabulous backhand made jaws drop and her fitness when not troubled by injuries was supreme – just like her unfathomable net play.
Like every other indelible champion of this era, when Mauresmo came out to win, she did so by silencing her critics and leaving them in awe. However, precarious injury scares and tawdry labels by the media of her sexual orientation haunted her progress in becoming the decade’s best known player.
After a lengthy battle that ensued with fitness, Mauresmo decided to call it quits.