As suspected, Amelie Mauresmo announced her retirement today.
"I don't want to train anymore. I had to make a decision, which became evident in the last few months and weeks. When you grow older, it's more difficult to stay at the top. 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.
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 lived 10 magical and unbelievable years."
Aw, Momes. Anytime you enter the court and play, you shine. That's just how it was. I must say, I wasn't always a Momo fan. Some of it had to do with my dislike of one-handed backhands (I'm sorry, I don't think they're *that" beautiful) but most of it had to do with that damn scrunchy. But as her career progressed, it became clear to me that Amelie was just...normal. She falls in that category of normal people, who pick up tennis, are successful, but have to navigate the absolute insanity of professional tennis without any sense of arrogance, delusion, or, let's be frank, crazy. I feel like her emotional rollercoaster of a career, with all the pressure put on her by the FFT, by fans, by other players, was the direct result of her normalcy. I always have sympathy for the normals. The crazies can have their gazillion titles and accolades. I'd rather drink with Amelie and talk about Sartre.
I think we all saw this coming but again, I'm sad she won't get a curtain call. Personally, I would have loved to have the opportunity to say goodbye at Indian Well, a la Marat. But I don't think anyone can doubt Amelie on this one. Where there's no motivation, what's the point? And what brings me such joy in thinking about Amelie is the fact that I have no doubt that her post-tennis life is going to be something we all envy.
Two Slam titles, #1 in the world, 2004 Olympic Silver medal, and a 2003 Fed Cup Title.
All the while playing as the first high-profile athlete to come out during her career. A role model for other gay athletes who are too scared to come out for fear of backlash by both fans and sponsors. I don't think this courageous move can be lauded enough.