View Full Version : Amelie searches for solution to Paris riddle (article)

Jun 3rd, 2004, 10:12 AM
Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_sports/view/88091/1/.html

Tennis: Amelie searches for solution to Paris riddle

PARIS : After a decade of disappointments, Amelie Mauresmo admits she is no closer to finding a solution to the riddle of her inability to fulfil her destiny on the Roland Garros courts.

As the dust settled over the Philippe Chatrier Centre Court after another embarrasing exit from her hometown tournament, the Frenchwoman and her entourage where still shaking their heads in incomprehension.

Wins in Berlin and Rome had put her among the favourites coming into the second Grand Slam of the season and expectations were increased with the elimination of defending champion Justine Henin-Hardenne and the Williams sisters.

But in the same round as she fell last year to Serena Williams and with a similar scoreline, world number three Mauresmo was shocked 6-4, 6-3 by Russian Elena Dementieva, a player she had overwhelmed in six of their previous seven meetings.

"I don't understand why what works so well everywhere else, does not work when we arrive at Roland Garros," said coach Loic Courteau.

"As she has everything else physically and technically I think we'll have to turn towards management of her emotions," he added.

The 24-year-old Mauresmo, who first played at Roland Garros in 1995, believes the solution could lie in improving her performances abroad where she can compete free of the weight of expectation.

Her first stop will be Wimbledon where she has not played because of injury since reaching the semi-finals in 2002.

"The other Grand Slam tournaments abroad are easier for me to play, easier for me to manage," said Mauresmo.

"Maybe by making headway at those tournaments I will find solutions that I will be able to apply here in Paris."

Former men's champion Yannick Noah has confidence his countrywoman will bounce back.

"Knowing her character, she's going to come back. She's on the right track and is one of the best players in the world. I'd love to give her the magic formula but I don't know it," said Noah, who won France's last men's title in 1983.

"It's a question of detail and sometimes you find the solution by accident," he said.

"Maybe if she could play elsewhere other than centre court, on court No. 3 or No.4 ... But it's even sadder because she does all in her power to succeed and she's very motivated. The problem is that it gets harder and harder."