It's a sad day for all Amelie Mauresmo fans and fans of stylish players and particularly female players with a single handed backhand and excellent volleying ability (a very rare thing in modern women's Tennis). However, its also a day to celebrate her achievements too. Instead of making a tribute I thought it would be nice to look at some of her best matches Amelie played in her career against her rivals.
2004 Wimbledon semifinal v Serena Williams —Even though Amelie lost this match it was a great three set marathon played in a very good spirit. That was the match where I thought Amelie was very close to winning Wimbledon if she persevered and not get too down hearted by defeat.
2005 WTA Championships final v Mary Pierce - This is where it all started for Amelie, the transition from a very good player and talented player to a great player. Her come from behind victory against friend Mary Pierce was a three hour marathon and really showcased Amelie's fighting spirit, even coming from love 40 down to win when serving for the match in the 3rd set! That was the match Amelie knew she belonged with the best in the biggest events
2006 Antwerp final v Kim Clijsters —One of Amelie's best matches! What a great match with Amelie coming from a set down to win in front of an extremely raucous Belgian crowd. The Mauresmo v Clijsters rivalry always reminded me of Sampras v Agassi. The attacker vs the baseliner in the strictest sense. Like Sampras, Amelie used her variety to get to Kim's backhand, by hitting lots of topspin backhands high to Kim's backhand and then slices to keep it low making Kim hit up, or to take the net, the exact tactic Sampras employed against Agassi. Amelie didn't have the Sampras forehand of course but she used her variety from the baseline to keep Kim at bay and rush Kim at the net and like Sampras was not afraid to hit the backhand down the line to stretch Kim—a great rivalry but also a friendly rivalry.
2006 WTA championships round robin v Justine Henin —Justine was on fire in the 1st set! The best Justine could play blowing away Amelie. However, again Amelie came from a set down to win and make the semifinals herself after losing the 1st match to Nadia Petrova wth great attacking play.
2006 WTA championships semifinal v Kim Clijsters —The best match of their rivalry when both players played incredibly well at the same time. Maybe Amelie's best match because she withstood a barrage from Kim in the 3rd set who threw everything at Amelie. Both players can look back on that match with some pride.
2007 Antwerp final v Kim Clisjters —Amelie did it to Kim in front of that raucous Belgian crowd again! This time in straight sets. Amelie was at her very best that day. In my opinion that was the last high level match Amelie played because soon after she had an emergency operation on her appendix and then other injuries meant Amelie was never the same player after March 2007.
2006 Wimbledon final v Justine Henin —This is obviously Amelie's greatest moment. The first French woman for over 70 years to win Wimbledon and the first real serve and volleyer to win Wimbledon since Jana Novotna in 1998. Amelie again showing her fighting spirit by coming back from a set down to defeat Justine and showed her serve and volley play was at its best and Amelie was so athletic and graceful, her game was perfect for grass.
Interestingly many matches I have mentioned here, Amelie came from a set down to win so Amelie certainly possessed a great fighting spirit even if she wasn't always at her best.
I'm sure I've missed matches so if you can think of any other great Amelie Mauresmo matches then please feel free to add them in the comments section—matches either Amelie won or lost that were great spectacles.
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