Amelie Mauresmo appreciation thread.

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Gizo, Aug 13, 2017 at 3:32 AM.

  1. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    I've hardly ever created any threads since I began posting here, but I thought I'd create one for one of my favourite ever female tennis players Mauresmo.

    I will avoid using one of those standard buzzwords and claim that she's forgotten, underrated or underappreciated. But I loved watching her play, with her variety, stylish one handed backhand (more beautiful than Henin's IMO), serve volleying, slices, topspin and athleticism.

    Obviously 2006 when she finally won her grand slam titles, especially that Wimbledon success, and reached world no. 1, was amazing (I didn't get any joy out of her reaching world no. 1 for the first time in 2004). She was comprehensively destroying Henin before the retirement in that AO final, and it was refreshing to see a woman winning Wimbledon by serve-volleying so much. But other highlights.

    - 'Announcing' herself with her run to the final at Berlin in 1998.
    - Her 1999 AO final run, including her excellent performance to win her SF against Davenport.
    - Straight setting Pierce, Hingis and Davenport in succession to win her 2000 Sydney title.
    - Her flurry of titles an amazing form in the winter and spring of 2001 (but more on that later).
    - Her demolition of Capriati in their 2002 Wimbledon QF, with an unbelievable display of grass and all-court tennis
    - Her 2005 YEC title and her annual classics at that event from 2003-2006; against Henin in 2003, Serena in 2004 (even though she lost), Pierce in 2005 and Clijsters in 2006. In that particular that 2006 SF victory over Clijsters was amazing. Clijsters dominated the first half of their rivalry, but Amlie turned it around and won their last 5 matches by ruthlessly hitting high topspin shots to Kim's backhand (a big weakness for her) but mixing that up with low slices to keep her off-balance. After that 2003 SF, Henin admitted that she had playing very well against Amelie despite losing.
    - Winning Antwerp 3 years in a row from 2005-2007 with victories over Venus and Clijsters, to take home that diamond racket.
    - Beating Jankovic and Dementieva to win her 2009 Paris title, her last hurrah.
     
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  2. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Of course the biggest disappointment of her career was that poor record at Roland Garros. In 15 appearances there, she never reached a single semi-final and only reached 2 quarter-finals. She was obviously an excellent clay court player, with 2 titles and 3 more finals at Rome, 2 titles and another final appearance at Berlin, and other notable titles on the surface at Amelia Island and Warsaw. She beat the likes of Henin, an absolute peak Serena, Hingis, Capriati, Pierce, Venus etc on the surface.

    However she always choked under the huge national pressure that was placed on her at Roland Garros, and saved her worst tennis for that tournament. The problem was that she wasn't even choking in finals and semi-finals, she was choking in earlier rounds. Henin had the best deal at RG, she was a huge crowd favourite but didn't carry the national burden. Mauresmo on the other was also a huge crowd favourite, but her fans there would quickly turn on her and boo her once she failed to live up to their hopes and expectations.

    2001 and 2004 in particular stung. In 2001 she he had won 25 out of her last 27 matches going into the tournament, including a title at Amelia Island, a title at Berlin beating Hingis and Capriati back to back and a run to the final at Rome beating Hingis again. Many people considered her to be the RG title favourite, especially in France, but she couldn't handle all that pressure and lost to Jana Kandarr in the 1st round, freezing like a deer in the headlights.

    In 2004 she reached the final at Amelia Island, and then won back to back titles at Berlin and Rome (the only other women to do that were Graf and Seles). With Henin suffering from a viral infection, again many people considered her to the be the RG title favourite. But she produced a pathetic display to go down tamely to Dementieva (who was far from a stellar clay court player) in the quarters.

    But I got to so much enjoyment and entertainment out of watching her and her stylish tennis, and the highs definitely out-numbered the lows.
     
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  3. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    I loved watching her
     
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  4. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I recall her having tremendous power off that backhand, and all the variety you could wish for. She knew how to use underspin effectively and had a keen sense of when to approach and fine volleys off both wings, when very few contemporaries did.
     
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  5. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    my recollection as well. i miss having players like her on the tour nowadays. wouldn´t that be fun and add some well-needed diversity?
     
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  6. deacsyoga

    deacsyoga Rookie

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    One interesting thing to wonder is which of Mauresmo or Capriati should rank higher. Capriati has 1 more slam, Mauresmo has the YEC title, more titles, many more Premier titles, and owns the head to head. Both were #1 for a little bit, Mauresmo IMO was the best player of a season (2006) while Capriati was not, yet both won most of the Player of Year titles for a season while technically not ending it #1 on the computer (Mauresmo 2006, Capriati 2001).
     
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  7. TnsGuru

    TnsGuru Semi-Pro

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    Check out this jumping one handed backhand!! Henin and Mauresmo battle of the one handers!!
     
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  8. deacsyoga

    deacsyoga Rookie

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    One thing about her is she almost single handedly ruined the Henin era. Had Henin not lost those 2 slam finals to Mauresmo she would have been the dominant player of back to back seasons, and the top player of 3 seasons of the 2003-2007 stretch, and also had Wimbledon. Instead Mauresmo put a real damper on things.
     
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  9. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    I loved those cool and spectacular shots that Amelie could pull off pretty frequently. Win or lose she often kept me entertained. As I said before I felt that her backhand was more beautiful than Henin's. But maybe that was height-related, as Henin had to strain herself a lot more to hit hers, while Amelie had pretty much the ideal height for modern day women's tennis.

    I couldn't get enough of Amelie's half volleys as well.

    Obviously I was angry at Henin for those antics in the 2006 AO final, but I enjoyed their rivalry and matches a lot.

    That 2006 Wimbledon final wasn't perfect quality wise but it was still an entertaining match to watch with a lot of variety and volleying on show. It was certainly far better than most finals that we have seen since then.

    And their 2003 YEC semi-final, 2006 YEC RR match and 2007 Dubai and Eastbourne finals were also a treat to watch regardless of the outcome.

    The lowlight for me was probably the 2004 Olympic final, when Henin had a marathon semi-final against Myskina but then beat Amelie convincingly. Then again Henin was just too good that day and dominated the match right from the start.
     
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