* I did not want to go training any more - Frenchwoman
* Tour says au revoir to one of the best backhands
* Mauresmo never won the French Open
By Chrystel Boulet-Euchin
PARIS, Dec 3 Twice grand slam winner and former
world number one Amelie Mauresmo, who will be remembered as much
for her elegance on the court as her incapacity to prevail in
her home major, announced her retirement on Thursday.
"I came here to announce the end of my career. I made this
decision after careful consideration," the 30-year-old
Frenchwoman told a news conference before bursting into tears.
"It was becoming tough mentally. What happened is I simply
did not want to go training any more. My tennis life lasted 25
years, there were extraordinary things and tough moments."
One of Mauresmo's toughest moments came in 1999, when she
came out as a lesbian.
Mauresmo first topped the rankings in September 2004 and
clinched her two grand slam titles in 2006 when she won the
Australian Open and Wimbledon.
She collected 25 WTA Tour singles crowns and won the Fed Cup
with France in 2003.
"I had three main goals in my career, becoming world number
one, claiming a grand slam title and a Fed Cup. I achieved all
of them," said Mauresmo.
"When I look back I have no regret and great pride."
However, Mauresmo never made it past the quarter-finals at
the her home grand slam, the French Open, despite starting the
tournament as favourite several times.
Fragile nerves and a game not really suited for claycourt
tennis prevented her from pleasing the Roland Garros fans, who
never failed to greet her with loud cries of 'Amelie, Amelie' on
Mauresmo's career started to crumble following her Antwerp
Diamond Games victory in 2007 when she took longer than expected
to recover from an appendectomy and suffered a series of
She spent a long time in the wilderness and thought about
quitting before storming back to claim the Paris Open title in
"I had some luck this year because I felt some emotions I
had not felt in previous years," she said.
However, Mauresmo failed to keep up the momentum, losing to
Russian Dinara Safina in the fourth round at Wimbledon in a
match completed under the Centre Court's new roof.
Serving at the start, she hit the first competitive shot
under the roof in that match.
Mauresmo, who had one of the finest backhands on the tour,
had not played since losing to Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak in
the second round of the U.S. Open in September.
She ruled out the idea of a farewell season.
"I watched (compatriot) Fabrice (Santoro) do it and that is
something that really does not appeal to me," said Mauresmo, the
most successful French female player since Suzanne Lenglen in
the 1910s and 1920s.
(Writing by Julien Pretot, editing by Tony Jimenez and
Alison Wildey. To query or comment on this story email
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