When Mary retires, unlike many retired good players before her, it won't be because she hasn't got the game to challenge for major titles anymore.
To me there are very few players like her that have retained the ability on a good day to crush even the best of best late into their careers.
Not really answering the question I know but I think my sentiments have already been expressed by someone else above.
I guess I'm reminded of Steffi Graf in this instance. For years she battled a bad back, then her knee problem began in '97 which kept her away for almost a year and a half. '98 was a medicore year for Graf, no where near her prior form.
Then, in '99, hope sprung eternal. At age 30, Graf reclaimed her game and rose to #3 in the rankings. She won the French Open, then after Wimbledon and before the US Open, she called it quits. The prospect of lifelong physical impairment was simply too much to bear, in spite of her stellar play, and ability to still beat the best in the world.
I feel Graf's '99 was Mary's '05. They both battled back from lingering injuries to reclaim their spot as one of the best in the world at age 30. Like Graf, I feel Mary should have stopped while she had regained her championship form and could still walk.
However, this isn't the case with Mary. She obviously wants more.
Realistically, there's no guarantee that Mary will ever return to her '05 form after this latest injury time-out. A time-out which will require knee surgery and six-months rehabilitation. Even Graf knew when it was time to throw in the towel.
I really feel like we've seen the best of Mary Pierce.
As fans, are we being selfish in our attempts to hope players with chronic injuries return....just one more time in the twilight of their careers?
Mary Pierce is THE inaugural injured poster-child of modern power tennis in the WTA. A woman who pushed her body beyond its limits with punishing ground strokes. I see glimpses of Mary Pierce's injury-prone career in this generations top power players; Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams.
Why couldn't they learn from Mary?
And now, we have another younger generation approaching, hitting blazing groundstrokes. Will Maria Sharapova and Nicole Vaidisova learn from their predecessors mistakes??? Or will modern power tennis continue to eat its young???