Thursday, 3 December 2009

Amelie Calls Time…

You know what?

I’m gonna play it selfless this time and proclaim my support for Amelie’s decision to retire. Good on her.

amelie_vig (Photo: Reuters)

Sure, it’s another axe wound for single-handed backhand Revivalists worldwide, and I don’t think we’re destined to see that much elegance at the net again for a very long time (no, not even Justine matched Amelie in the forecourt).

As for serve/volley, well that died many years ago – a sharp thrust delivered to the ribs that, happily for all concerned, didn’t last very long.

From where I stand however, she’s given her dues to the game, behaved impeccably both on and off the court and perhaps most important of all, answered the doubters with that Wimbledon Title – if she thinks it’s the right time to clear out that locker, I wish her well.

That said, I understand there were tears – and I understand why there were tears:

"I don't want to train any more. As you grew older, it's more difficult to stay at the top," said a tearful Mauresmo.

"I had to make a decision, which became evident in the last few months and weeks," added Mauresmo.

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

"It became very hard in build-up to the US Open," said Mauresmo, who won the silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

"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.

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


I just don’t take any pleasure at all from seeing my faves, fighting desperate battles they’re so obviously destined to lose - aimed at recreating just a modicum of glory from a career that now spans, mostly backwards.

For all the big rewards and associated glim-glam, an enormous amount of work and discipline are required to bring about even a fraction of what Amelie achieved – a discussion from which travel often gets unfairly overlooked.

Frequent, lengthy travel usually leaves me feeling dazed, confused and mentally unhinged.

Oh, and my Circadian Rhythms? NOT so rhythmic anymore.

To say nothing of the effects that poor reaction times, and an inability to concentrate have on a player’s game – problems an unsurprisingly large number of them counter with sleeping pills.

Sounds great.

Why on earth would she want to continue putting herself through that, now that she’s no longer, to use her own words, “experiencing those strong feelings on court” ?

So adieu Amelie. It’s been grand.

Watching you was like taking a poorly-organised trip on the Orient Express – stylish, nostalgic, though somewhat nervy and uncertain of whether or not you’ll reach your destination.

I’ll remember you for your SHB and play at the net of course, but most of all, for that nervous little shuffle you’d do before stepping up to serve, your marbley eyes almost imploring the ball kids for that miracle ball that would stop the pain.

Probably not the behaviour you’d expect from a two-time Slam Champion; then again, I’m almost certain I never saw her dismissively throw a sweaty towel at a ball kid either.

Nice girls don’t always finish last.

blog comments powered by Disqus


All images on this site have been found in the public domain.
Credit has been given wherever possible.
If you feel your copyright is being infringed upon by any particular image, please contact me and I'll have it taken it down.

You Said...

Powered by Disqus

Receive Updates by Email...

Enter your email address:

  © Free Blogger Templates Spain by 2008

Back to TOP