Amélie Simone Mauresmo (born on 5 July 1979) is a
French professional tennis player and is a former World No. 1. She
has won two Grand Slam singles titles, the 2006 Australian Open and
Mauresmo first attained the top ranking on September 13, 2004,
holding it for five weeks on that occasion. She was the fourteenth
World No. 1 in women's tennis since the computer rankings began.
She is well known for her powerful one-handed backhand (a rarity in
women's tennis) and her strong net play. She is coached by Loïc
Biography and career
Breakthrough and controversy
Climb to the top
2005 Tour Championships
Performance at Grand Slam events
Amélie Mauresmo was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Inspired by
watching Yannick Noah win the 1983 French Open on television,
Mauresmo began to play tennis at the age of 4.
In 1996, Mauresmo captured both the junior French Open and Wimbledon
titles. She was named 1996 Junior World Champion by the
International Tennis Federation.
In 1999, the then unseeded Mauresmo reached the Australian Open
final with wins over three seeds (including world No. 1 Lindsay
Davenport), before falling to world No. 2 Martina Hingis. Before the
final, Hingis called Mauresmo "half a man." Though she lost the
final to Hingis, Mauresmo soundly defeated Hingis later in the year,
en route to the final of the Paris [Indoors] event.
It was after her surprise upset of Davenport in their Australian
Open semifinal in 1999 that Mauresmo, 19 at the time, came out as a
lesbian to the international press.
Mauresmo was only the second French woman to reach the Australian
Open final dating back to 1922 (Mary Pierce won it in 1995) and the
third French woman to reach any Grand Slam final in the open era.
Climb to the top
Mauresmo rapidly climbed into the top ten in WTA rankings, and began
to win significant events on the women's tour.
In 2003, she was the leading player on a team that captured the Fed
Cup for France. She has won more Fed Cup singles matches than any
other French player.
Mauresmo captured a silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in
Athens, where she was defeated by Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne in
the women's singles final.
On September 13, 2004, Mauresmo became the first French tennis
player to become number one since computer rankings began in the
1970s. She held that ranking for five weeks and has maintained a
ranking in the top five ever since.
2005 Tour Championships
In 2005, she claimed her first WTA Tour Championships, rebounding
from a first-set loss to defeat countrywoman Mary Pierce (5-7, 7-6,
6-4) and avenge an earlier round-robin loss to Pierce in three sets.
In round-robin play, Mauresmo defeated Elena Dementieva (6-2, 6-3)
and #2 seed Kim Clijsters (6-3, 7-6), suffering her only loss at the
hands of Pierce (6-2, 4-6, 2-6).
By finishing in second place in the Black Group behind Pierce,
Mauresmo earned a spot in the semifinals where she defeated the
defending champion, Russian Maria Sharapova, in straight sets (7-6,
At the 2006 Australian Open, Mauresmo captured her first Grand Slam
singles title, defeating Belgian former world number one players Kim
Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne en route.
Both opponents retired from their respective matches, Clijsters with
a right ankle sprain in the third set of their semifinal and
Henin-Hardenne from gastroenteritis in the final. Mauresmo was
leading in both matches — by 6-1, 2-0 against Henin-Hardenne.
Mauresmo then won her next two tournaments, the Paris Indoor
(defeating Pierce in the final) and the Proximus Diamond Games in
Antwerp (winning the final against Clijsters).
In the Qatar Total Open, Mauresmo defeated Martina Hingis in a
semifinal by 6-2, 6-2 but lost to Nadia Petrova in the final 6-3,
7-5. Had she won the final, she would have immediately regained the
No. 1 ranking from Clijsters. Nonetheless, the outcome was
sufficient to ensure Mauresmo's return to the No. 1 ranking on March
This reflected the fact that neither Mauresmo nor Clijsters
participated in the 2006 Indian Wells tournament. Thus, neither
defended her ranking points from the 2005 tournament, which
As of late March 2006, Mauresmo had won a tour-leading three
tournaments in the season, with wins in 19 of her 22 matches. This
included a 16-match winning streak that began at the Australian Open
and ended in the Dubai tournament.
Mauresmo reached the semifinals of the Nasdaq Open 2006, where she
lost to the eventual champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who later
straight-setted Russian Maria Sharapova in the final.
Though now a grand slam champion and reigning world number one,
Mauresmo once again fell victim under the weight of national
expectation at the French Open, succumbing to Czech teen Nicole
Vaidišová 6-7(5-7), 6-1, 6-2 in the fourth round in front of a
packed Court Philippe Chatrier crowd.
Mauresmo has long struggled at her nation's major. She has never
made it beyond the quarters at Roland Garros in 12 career
appearances, having done so at least once at every other Grand Slam.
Additionally, she has reached that round only twice, falling in
straight sets both times.
Mauresmo was the top seed at The Championships, Wimbledon, despite a
first round loss at the warm-up Eastbourne event (though she and
Kuznetsova won the doubles title, their first as a team and
Mauresmo's second overall).
Mauresmo defeated Maria Sharapova in a semifinal match, then came
back from a first set blowout to defeat Justine Henin-Hardenne in
the final, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. The victory was Mauresmo's second Grand
Slam singles title and first title on grass.
Amélie Mauresmo at Wimbledon 2006
She then pulled out of the Fed Cup World Group I playoff tie against
the Czech Republic due to a groin injury sustained during Wimbledon.
She was replaced by Severine Bremond.
Mauresmo withdrew from the Rogers Cup in Montreal. She then
participated in the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament, defeating Galina
Voskoboeva in three sets in the round of 16. She was then defeated
by the number 8 seed and tenth ranked Lindsay Davenport 6-4, 7-5.
At the 2006 US Open, Mauresmo lost to Maria Sharapova in a semifinal
6-0, 4-6, 6-0. It was the first time in the open era that a female
semifinalist here lost two sets at love.
Mauresmo then reached the final of the China Open, succumbing to
Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-0. During the tournament, Mauresmo won
137 ranking points to help preserve her World No. 1 ranking and
ended a nine match losing streak to Davenport. The last time
Mauresmo had defeated Davenport was in Sydney in January 2000.
Mauresmo went on to reach the final of the WTA Season-Ending
Championships in Madrid, losing to Justine Henin-Hardenne and
finishing the year ranked No. 3 behind Henin-Hardenne and Maria
Although Mauresmo has been one of the top players for several years,
she did not have success in winning Grand Slam events until 2006.
Her talents were never questioned, but Mauresmo was criticized for
her mental strength after succumbing to nerves in Grand Slams.
In consecutive Wimbledon championships, she lost to Serena Williams
and Lindsay Davenport after leading comfortably. Before her 2006
Australian win, Mauresmo was often touted as "the greatest women's
player never to win a Grand Slam." After winning the 2006 Wimbledon
title, Mauresmo openly joked, "I don’t want anyone to talk about my
nerves any more."
Mauresmo is one of the few tennis players, male or female, to have
reached the top ranking without first winning a Grand Slam singles
Other notable players who did so were Belgian Kim Clijsters, who
ascended to the top spot in 2003, two years before winning her first
Grand Slam singles title at the 2005 US Open, and Ivan Lendl, who
first reached number 1 in 1983, before winning any of his eight
Grand Slam singles titles.
As a result of her victory in the 2006 Australian Open, there is no
women's singles World No. 1 player, past or present, without a Grand
Slam championship. In the men's singles, Marcelo Rios of Chile
reached no. 1 in 1998 and never won a Grand Slam title.
Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score
Oct 18, 1999 Bratislava, Slovakia Hard Kim Clijsters (Belgium)
Jan 11, 2000 Sydney, Australia Hard Lindsay Davenport (USA) 7-6
Feb 5, 2001 Paris, France Hard Anke Huber (Germany) 7-6 6-1
Feb 12, 2001 Nice, France Carpet Magdalena Maleeva (Bulgaria) 6-2
Apr 9, 2001 Amelia Island, USA Clay Amanda Coetzer (South Africa)
May 7, 2001 Berlin, Germany Clay Jennifer Capriati (USA) 6-4 2-6
Feb 18, 2002 Dubai, UAE Hard Sandrine Testud (France) 6-4 7-6
Aug 12, 2002 Montreal, Canada Hard Jennifer Capriati (USA) 6-4
Apr 28, 2003 Warsaw, Poland Clay Venus Williams (USA) 6-7 6-0 3-0
Oct 27, 2003 Philadelphia, USA Hard Anastasia Myskina (Russia)
5-7 6-0 6-2
May 3, 2004 Berlin, Germany Clay Venus Williams (USA) W/O
May 10, 2004 Rome, Italy Clay Jennifer Capriati (USA) 3-6 6-3
Aug 2, 2004 Montreal, Canada Hard Elena Likhovtseva (Russia) 6-1
Oct 18, 2004 Linz, Austria Hard Elena Bovina (Russia) 6-2 6-0
Oct 25, 2004 Philadelphia, USA Hard Vera Zvonareva (Russia) 3-6
Feb 14, 2005 Antwerp, Belgium Hard Venus Williams (USA) 4-6 7-5
May 9, 2005 Rome, Italy Clay Patty Schnyder (Switzerland) 2-6
Oct 31, 2005 Philadelphia, USA Hard Elena Dementieva (Russia)
7-5 2-6 7-5
Nov 13, 2005 WTA Championships, Los Angeles, USA Hard Mary
Pierce (France) 5-7 7-6 6-4
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