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Majoli Honoured at Retirement Ceremony
November 15, 2004
LOS ANGELES - Former top 5 player Iva Majoli was honoured by the WTA Tour on Sunday evening in Los Angeles during a retirement ceremony.
Majoli was honoured at the WTA Tour Championships presented by Porsche and was given a Waterford Crystal clock. She was joined at the ceremonies by long-time friend Jennifer Capriati, along with Tour CEO Larry Scott and Championships Tournament Director John Arrix.
Majoli finishes her career with a 316-225 record, which includes eight singles titles and one doubles title. However, Majoli will also be remembered for a special victory on the clay courts in Paris in 1997.
The Croatian player surprised the tennis world in June of 1997 at Roland Garros with her triumph at the clay court Grand Slam event, which included surviving four straight three-set matches to reach the final. As the No.9 seed, Majoli defeated No.5 Lindsay Davenport and No.11 Amanda Coetzer in order to reach the final where she upset world No.1 Martina Hingis to win her only Grand Slam title, 64 62.
At the time of her victory, Majoli was the lowest seed to win a Grand Slam singles title in the Open Era and at 19 years of age, was the 11th teenager to win Roland Garros.
Majoli finished the 1997 season with a season-ending best ranking of No.6 in the world. Her career-best ranking came in 1996 when she went as high as No.4, which she held for eight months that year, and finished ranked in the Top 10 for three straight years (1995-1997).
She made her WTA Tour debut in 1992 when she received a wildcard to compete at Houston, ranked No.537 in the world. At that event, she defeated another rising player, No.228-ranked Lindsay Davenport and No.24-ranked Lori McNeil to reach the quarterfinals.
Majoli won her first career WTA Tour title in 1995 at Zurich, where she upset world No.4 Mary Pierce in the final. She continued her good fortunes the following week at Filderstadt, where she also upset a top 10 player in the final - this time defeating world No.7 Gabriela Sabatini for her second title in as many weeks.
Injuries plagued Majoli through the 1998 and 1999 season, including a right shoulder injury that required surgery and forced her to miss a large portion of the 1999 season.
Majoli won her final singles title in 2002, where as the No.58-ranked player in the world she became the lowest-ranked player to win a top-Tier event by winning Charleston.
In addition to the titles she accumulated during her 13-year career, Majoli was also the recipient of the 1993 WTA Tour Most Impressive Newcomer Award and the 2000 WTA Tour Comeback Player of the Year Award. As a junior, Majoli won the 1989 European Championships.
I am delighted to see that Iva was honoured in this way. I never thought I'd see her again after she announced her retirement on 29th June, so it was great to see these photos - still looking as gorgeous as ever!
Seeing her with Jennifer Capriati - who is a year-and-a-half older than Iva but still playing - makes me feel bitter that Iva retired so young (she was 26, is now 27), just as it does when I see Lindsay Davenport and Mary Pierce doing so well at the ages of 28 and 29.
It did seem like Iva was just going through the motions when she was playing in 2003 and 2004, but now I guess we'll never know if she would have had a resurgence in her late twenties or even later...
Dr. Andrew Broad