Mary Pierce Article (10/24/2002)
FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME.
She won't have to do it for the fame she once craved for,for the champion she wanted to be,for the money.
If she does come back next year strong and we all hope she do,Mary Pierce could well be the icing on the cake for the WTA which seems to be on a high this year.If she does come back it will be for the love of the game.If she does comeback ,it won't be because she has to confute her critics.She will always be the champion that she is-The Queen of Roland Garros.
The past two years have been a disaster for the Frenchwoman.Injury after injury has kept Pierce from rising back to the top and where she fittingly belongs.She did play a few clay tourneys this year but the hurt has always lingered.If it isn't the shoulder,it is the pain of being battered on court.Pierce had never been double-bageled before but after the 0-6,0-6 thrashing she received from Capriati at Rome,thingsjust couldn't get worse.Still,she has taken these painful losses with a smile even as lesser mortals cut her down to size.If those injuries have taught her anything, its how to deal with pain.And how to come out strong.
Although Pierce did make it to the Q.F of Roland Garros it was clear that she had not got her game back.What pulled her through wins over#12 Farina and #30 Torrens-valero was just sheer courage.She fed off the crowd support and somehow pulled through.But determination is also not enough.Her high intensity was mirrored by Serena who drubbed her in the Q.F 6-1,6-1.Her ground strokes are still in place but the movement is missing.Pierce was never the best mover on court but atleast she could move well enough to beat and challenge the Williams' sisters.
Indeed in both her wins over Venus,the latter had not been able to even win a game off Pierce in the final sets.
Clearly when Mary Pierce is on,the tennis world better watch out because a Mary Pierce on song can make a tigress look like a lamb.
No one knows what to expect from Pierce,if she'll even play next year,but one thing is clear .Even if she doesn't come back she can retire in honour.Knowing that she always played her heart out.Always pleasing and a player who always has a kind word for everyone Pierce will be missed by everyone.