If ever anyone had any doubt of Mary's class I suggest they read the following taken from http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennis...&bannerregion=
(The following is only a part of the article, just phenominal)
Against pretty big odds, this U.S. Open final gave us not one but two women who walk the walk and talk the talk of true champions and role model for girls everywhere. Both Kim Clijsters and Mary Pierce played the final as usual with a kind of regal class and high self esteem.
I could imagine Gwyneth Paltrow playing either of their roles in a movie. One won and one lost with grace, living the inscription of Rudyard Kipling's "If" that is inscribed over the player’s entrance onto the Wimbledon Centre court: "If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same".
Although their styles of play are obviously different, Kim and Mary share similar traits that make them ideal role models to youth women. Neither player is known to throw their racquet, neither swears when missing a shot and neither are prone to the dark mumblings under their breath, neither shriek or make wild excuses for loosing. Pierce was playing in so much peace and joy of the moment that although she lost some very important points in the semifinals against Elena Dementieva and the final against Clijsters, she would still clap the strings of her racquet to acknowledge the beauty of her opponent’s shot.
Perhaps the first time, I saw this stylish gesture was about 17 years ago when a teenager with long hair named Agassi did it in an early-round match.
Some of the tennis press who are unaccustomed to seeing positive role models are perplexed with Mary’s polar opposite reaction the contemporary common pro. Instead of beating herself up if she misses an easy shot, she just smiles broadly or laughs. Isn’t smiling supposed to release dopamine, the "reward chemical" of the brain associated with zoning? In a media world that often rewards crude and self-indulgent behavior, it is nice to give our children a couple of modern classy role models that are throw backs to heroines like Goolagong, Wade, Court, and more recently Evert and Graf.
The concept of a role model is in part how we all influence each other and how we need each other to inspire us to be our best. It’s also about how we admire certain people or build friendships with people with whom we share certain values. Is it a surprise that a young Kimmy had a poster of Graf on her wall and that Graf would marry Agassi and that Kim would eventually become a role model to young girls just as Agassi is to young boys?
In a press conference during her run to the Indian Wells title in March, Clijsters made a comment that evoked some of Agassi's remarks: "When you do your best, it's always good enough."
Clijsters faced a deep deficit against world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport in the Indian Wells final. Davenport entered the final fresh off a 6-0, 6-0 drubbing of Maria Sharapova and raced out to a 4-0, 40-0 lead against Clijsters. Instead of packing it in, Clijsters got that deep focused, almost mesmerized look on her face and came back to win the first set with six straight games, and eventually the match. In the post-match press conference she was asked what was on her mind being impossibly down like that? How did she do it and what would she tell kids about how they can also be successful on the court or in life?
"My parents have always told me, you know, no matter what happens, you have to try to stay positive," Clijsters replied. "You know, bad things can happen to you, but if you try to stay positive, something positive with come out of it…I believe that everything happens for a reason. And something positive can come out of it."
In the aftermath of Clijsters' wrist surgery, her ranking dropped to No. 134. Agassi, who exchanged racquets with Clijsters after the Open in recognition of their shared comeback stories, fell to as low as No. 141 in November of 1997. Pierce's ranking plummeted to No. 295 in April of 2002 after shoulder and back injuries.
During a discussion with Mary just after she had lived a dream again of making it to this year’s French Open final, she tried to put into words where she found the strength and energy to believe in herself again after such a dramatic dive in the rankings.
"I believe the most important and powerful force is love," Mary told me. "It has the ability to overcome all, and aid in every circumstance. It is greater than any other power source."
True to her words, Pierce revealed again what inspired her when she found herself down one set in her semifinal match against Elena Dementieva.
inspiration after she found herself down one set in her semi-finals match against Elena Dementieva. "Today after I lost the first set, I kept thinking about a friend of mine back home, Pat, who is sick," Pierce said. "She gave be the power to play today."
Recently, Mary has said that she is no longer motivated as she was in her youth by forces such as fame, money, success. In response to the question, "Can you explain how love helps your game?" Mary replied in an email: "For some there is motivation in anger, aggressiveness, hate…money, fame etc. ….and that’s why I say love, because it is the strongest power of all. It over comes all adversary. Any of the other powers can eventually destroy. Unlike love, which always builds."
This message gives a possible clue to the unusual gesture that she makes sometimes three times in a row. Her light tapping of her forearm on her chest over her heart is probably less about the traditional message, "it takes heart" and more about "the power of love".
Even though we live in a world that continues to send messages to our youth that says "show me the money", it has been a breath of fresh air to hear Clijsters' attitude about money.