Former No. 1 Mauresmo retires

Former No. 1 Mauresmo retires

Published Dec. 15, 2009 6:03 a.m. ET

Two-time Grand Slam champion Amelie Mauresmo retired from tennis Thursday, saying she no longer had a burning desire for competition.

The 30-year-old Frenchwoman is a former No. 1 player who finished this season at No. 21.

"I don't want to train anymore," Mauresmo said after shedding tears about the decision. "I had to make a decision, which became evident in the last few months and weeks. When you grew older, it's more difficult to stay at the top."

Mauresmo, who won both of her Grand Slam titles in 2006, at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, said she was happy to leave on a good note after winning her 25th singles title - her first in almost two years - in Paris this season. She also had seven wins over Top 10 players in her final year.

"It's a bit sad, but this is the right decision," Mauresmo said. "I was lucky enough to have an exceptional career and to experience very strong feelings on the court."

Mauresmo, who was the No. 1 in 2004, played her last match in the second round of this year's U.S. Open, losing to Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada 6-4, 6-0. She pulled out of her last two tournaments of the year.

"It became very hard in buildup to the U.S. Open," Mauresmo said. "If I were able to enter the court, play and shine, of course I could continue, but to achieve this you need to put in such hard work. And I'm not capable of that."

Mauresmo said she has no regrets and feels proud when she looks back at a career that started in 1993.

"I dreamt of this career, I dreamt of winning a Grand Slam title," she said. "I lifted trophies in every city in the world and I lived 10 magical and unbelievable years."

Mauresmo, who says she decided to play tennis after watching Yannick Noah win the 1983 French Open, became the first player from France - male or female - to reach the No. 1 spot on Sept. 13, 2004. She held it for five weeks and recaptured it on March 20, 2006, holding it for the majority of that year until falling from the top on Nov. 12. In total, she spent 39 weeks at No. 1.

"I dreamt of this career, I dreamt of winning a Grand Slam title. I lifted trophies in every city in the world and I lived 10 magical and unbelievable years."
— Amelie Mauresmo

But she was never able to emulate Noah's feat of winning on the clay at Roland Garros, failing to go beyond the quarterfinals at the Grand Slam tournament in Paris, where she struggled to withstand the pressure in front of her home crowd.

Mauresmo also won the Fed Cup with France in 2003 and the WTA Tour championship in 2005. She won the Olympic silver medal in Athens in 2004.

She had her best season in 2006, winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon with victories over Justine Henin in the finals.

"Amelie will go down in history as one of the best players of her generation and a terrific ambassador for women's tennis," WTA Tour chairman Stacey Allaster said. "Amelie is an extraordinary player, one of the nicest and friendliest personalities on Tour, and a true champion both in tennis and in life."

Asked about a possible comeback, Mauresmo said her decision was definitive.

"Even if I've learned to never say never," the Frenchwoman said. "The players you are thinking about stopped earlier than me before coming back."

Former No. 1 Henin confirmed in October she'll make her return to the WTA Tour at the Brisbane International - two weeks before the Australian Open. Kim Clijsters won the U.S. Open in September after coming back from two years in retirement.


Get more from tennis Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more

in this topic