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spiceboy
Mar 25th, 2005, 07:38 PM
Passion player rises above the prejudice
By Sue Mott

Amelie Mauresmo, the first Frenchwoman ever to become world No 1 (five weeks last year), is yet to match her country's aspirations with a Grand Slam title. Preferably, the French Grand Slam title.

They love her. She is as French as baguettes, unlike Mary Pierce (latterly French, previously Canadian and partially American) who won at Roland Garros five years ago (http://sport.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2000/06/11/stfren11.xml). Mauresmo is all Gaul, a statuesque figure, mocked and derided in her teens, who found the courage to acknowledge to the world that she was a lesbian and went on to practise the subtle arts of her tennis whatever the condemnation. There was none. Her country admired her openness. Women's tennis thanked God for her frankness. There was no scandal, no controversy, no cover-up, just a woman coming to terms with herself and a decent backhand.

It was frightening at the beginning," she said. "I didn't understand. All the attention. I couldn't understand how people could be so rude, but then I grew up, got some maturity. Maybe the players felt threatened by me, but that was six years ago now. To me, it seems like another life. I've done so many things, achieved so much since. I have really found myself as a woman, as a tennis player, in my head."
The rudeness to which she alluded fell heedlessly from the lips of her fellow tennis players, amazed by the sight of the quietly spoken French 19-year-old, as she was then, reaching the final of the Australian Open with a set of fully grown shoulders and a highly muscular physique. Lindsay Davenport, who lost to her in the semi-final, said, with a terrible tang of sour grapes: "She played like a man."

Martina Hingis, who beat her in the final (http://sport.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/1999/01/31/stharm31.xml), called her "half a man". These were flame-throwing insults that would have embittered and broken lesser characters.

Mauresmo is neither of the above. She is, remarkably in the upper echelons of women's tennis, punctual, unfussy, apparently not of a royal bloodline and, above all, pleasantly mild-mannered. There is not a mean bone in her. Marvellous for friendships. Almost fatal for sport.

"Some players need to hate their opponents. Others need to be indifferent. Indifferent, yes?" she asked, testing the adequacy of her intelligent English. "I do not need to hate my opponent. That's not how I have been raised. Maybe sometimes I am not mean enough. Maybe I should be a little more angry. But you cannot change yourself like this." She clicked her fingers.

Mauresmo has a fine record of not changing herself at whim. She has clung to a different line throughout her life when a lie might have been easier, at least superficially. "When I came out, it was tough. I wasn't ready for it, I didn't understand. Probably my parents didn't appreciate it, even though they knew what my life was. I had known for a while. I had been asking myself some questions. The knowledge just happened. But society prepares you to grow up one way and that's why you ask yourself the questions. You are not sure if you are normal."

She was certainly unprepared for the initial interest and was possibly encouraged into her revelations by her girlfriend at the time, who owned a bar in St Tropez and seemed to revel in the attention. Compare that hopelessly unprotected girl with the woman of 25 who drove to Antwerp on Monday in her smoke-grey Porsche with the serious intention of winning the Diamond Games Indoor Tournament and you see the distinct alteration.

"I am emotional still, but I am trying to deal with it in a better way. Sometimes it's a problem, but sometimes also it is a great feeling, one of joy, happiness, adrenalin. Imagine if your whole life was just nothing." She drew a flat line across the air in front of her and looked disgusted at the mere thought of emulating Bjorn Borg's expressionism. "I have always been very emotional and very attracted to emotional things."

Perhaps Mauresmo is tennis's Edith Piaf. It may explain the mutual affection between herself and her French audience. They love her complications. "They see me as an honest person with some strong positioning on the subjects I care about. They see me as a passionate person. They recognise themselves in the struggles I have, perhaps. I try to share things with people."

In which case, the French are suffering the same theatrical campaigns in which the Brits excel. She has been No 1 in the world, true, but she has also lost, sometimes catastrophically in the cauldron of Roland Garros. She reached the semi-final at Wimbledon last year (http://sport.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2004/07/02/stwill02.xml), slicing and sweeping backhands at a discomforted Serena Williams, but not sufficiently armoured in self-belief to deliver the coup de grâce. She yearned to win an Olympic gold medal in Athens, but came away with the silver instead.

She lives alongside the reputation for arch-vulnerability in a crisis. Where is that Grand Slam title? "It will come," she said simply. "I think everyone has their own speed. I take a little more time to get my maturity than the Williams sisters or the Belgians. It's the way I am. I'm happy with that.

"It is great being popular in France. At the beginning I had some trouble with it. How to behave? But now I have found my spot in French society and I'm happy about that. People like me for what I do, for what I represent and that is very good."

Her smile reaches all the way up to her green eyes. She has consulted a sports psychologist in an attempt to cure her nervous responses to pressure, but she is clearly not an apologist for herself. She has nothing to apologise for.

Her shape? She was born with it. Into a comfortable middle-class family near Paris who had no alignment to tennis whatsoever. Aged four, little Amelie simply settled down to watch Yannick Noah win the French Open with her mother Françoise and thought: I would like to do that too. She left her parents at 11 to be schooled in tennis by the French Federation. She became conspicuously good. She was the World No 1 Junior. She won the French and Wimbledon Junior titles in 1996. "I had certain physical abilities and technical abilities. I was lucky. I grew tall. I got my build from my father's side of the family. They were all pretty tall and athletic."

As for her lifestyle, it marks her out as a woman imbued with courage and frankness. "Nobody cares about it now. They've stopped making an issue of it. I think people see the tennis player. I was once very public about my private life. Now I want to preserve - can you say that? Preserve? - my privacy. I want to live it in a quiet way. Whether I bring my girlfriend to Wimbledon, I don't know yet. I'll see. I want to protect her. But I think they wouldn't know. I don't worry about it too much. It's OK. I've been in much tougher situations."

She does not court the media, but she does not repel them either. A push me - pull you, Posh and Becks situation has no allure whatsoever. "All the eyes on them," she said in horrified wonderment. "What they do, how they dress, the new jewel. I could not be like that. I give a lot to the media but I also have my private side."

Then she has her outspoken side. She did not disguise her disapproval of the war in Iraq when she was touring, of all places, the US last year. "For a British paper this is maybe a sensitive issue?" she courteously enquired. "But I have to say I am proud that our President had this position of not going to Iraq. People asked me and I said I was against these things. I understand that sometimes you want to dominate and fight, but I'm not sure that's the answer."

Her mind ranges well beyond the usual confines of tennis courts and airport lounges. Tennis players are apt to be self-absorbed. "We are, we are," she agreed, demonstrating a set of limiting blinkers before her eyes. "But I try to be interested beyond tennis. We are in a little world but these are big issues. It's not hard to be aware of what's going on. It's scary sometimes."

The French Federation Cup Team, of which she is one, discuss such things over dinner, typical sophisticates that they are. "We are close. Very solid. We like to go to a restaurant and talk together. The Russians too, are close - but in a bigger restaurant."

She smiled at her gentle joke, acknowledging the march of the Russians in number and quality into the top berths on the women's tour. And the British? We contemplated Elena Baltacha at a table for one. "Not yet," she said kindly.

Simplistically, you imagine that Mauresmo will have to rid herself of these kindness outbreaks if she is to threaten the East-West power bloc at the top of women's tennis, represented by Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams. Both are murderous. Assassins. Intimidators. Predators.

"We don't see them very often. They just say, `Hi, how are you'. That's where our relationship ends. That's OK. I'm fine with that. They live their life and I live mine. That's not hard feelings or anything. Before, the women's tour had an image of a lot of jealously, rivalry, bitchiness. But, to me, that is not the case at all. We live in our different worlds, we have different people around us, that's all. It's not insulting to anybody."

Mauresmo will turn 26 at Wimbledon this year. Not too late to win a major title. In the meantime, the void has its little compensations. She has her own waxwork in the Grevin Museum in Paris and her own wine cellar at home in Geneva. She has her Harley Davidson motorbike, which, with typical modesty, she drives with restraint in the summer and not at all like a maniac around Swiss hairpin bends. She is all benevolence and sense. Perhaps that is why some commentators, perhaps even she herself, cannot quite picture the ultimate prizes falling into her hands. It is all very well having a beautiful game, a beautiful mind is no use at all.

But, Henmaniacs understand the concept of hope. So do Parisians now. And then there is Mauresmo's own contentment.

"I love this sport," she said. "The game of tennis. I love the fact that a lot of people around the world come to watch and share the emotions of the players. They give us a lot of positive things. I am lucky to live my passion and have money and freedom."

There are worse ways to chase fulfilment.

spiceboy
Mar 25th, 2005, 07:43 PM
The 'played like a man' reference is a bad mistake in an otherwise lively read: In her next interview, Davenport stressed that it had been a compliment on Mauresmo's game, and slammed the press for their handling of the story :fiery: :fiery:

The full quote was: "She's a very, very strong girl. A couple of times I thought I was playing a guy, the girl was hitting it so hard. She's so strong in those shoulders. She hits the ball, y'know, not like any other girl. She hits it so hard and with so much topspin. Women's tennis is not usually played like that."

Thinking back, this observation was a victim of circumstance and timing: Lina Krasnoroutskaya made a similar remark about Mauresmo and Justine Henin's games a couple of years ago, without exciting much comment...

Mauresmo criticized Hingis, but let Davenport off with: "She wrote me a note -- I appreciated that. It was important to me. I think Davenport is a nice person... I was surprised by her comments because she is stronger than I am, hits the ball harder and is a fair size herself." ;)

ezekiel
Mar 25th, 2005, 07:59 PM
Amelie has manly features especially her jaw is very man like.
I wonder how many players are lesbians but afraid to come out?

Steffica Greles
Mar 25th, 2005, 08:39 PM
****YAWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNN****:zzz:

Why do straight people find this "coming out" thing so fascinating?

I've done it, lots of people on this board have done it. But once you've done it, in my humble experience, you don't think about it ever again. You can tell your story to those interested a number of times, but eventually it gets annoying. It's just a part of life that some people have to go through and not all.

And there's many hard aspects of life that I, as a gay man, haven't had to go through - thankfully. "Coming out" is just one of an innumerable amount of difficult life experiences in the wider picture.

So why does this boring rubbish get dredged up over and over again?

spiceboy
Mar 25th, 2005, 09:01 PM
Steffica Greles
Why do straight people find this "coming out" thing so fascinating?


LOL who's that 'straight people'? ;)

I find really interesting how a top athlete deals openly with her sexuality and since this is pretty rare to find I just posted it.

Nothing wrong about that, you don't have to read it if you don't want to but some other people might be interested :)

lucashg
Mar 25th, 2005, 09:05 PM
That's a great article. Mauresmo is such a nice person, I hope she wins a slam soon. She deserves, she has such a beautiful game! I can't believe Hingis' comment. Well, she does look like a sore bitch, but.... hmm. Ok, Amelie has manly futures but she can look so nice! ;P

pigam
Mar 25th, 2005, 09:11 PM
nice article.
I'm really convinced that amélie is the most intelligent of the topplayers.

JPrince
Mar 25th, 2005, 09:35 PM
That's a great article. Mauresmo is such a nice person, I hope she wins a slam soon. She deserves, she has such a beautiful game! I can't believe Hingis' comment. Well, she does look like a sore bitch, but.... hmm. Ok, Amelie has manly futures but she can look so nice! ;P


Actually, I met Amelie in person and can say that she is quite beautiful. Not just in the physical sense, but her personality is so inviting, so genuine. She is so kind and sincere, I cannot speak highly enough about her. It's so nice to see such a modest, generous player as herself on tour. There's not an ounce of arrogance in her. She plays her game to the best of her ability and lets her tennis speak for her, without the need to boast or display any cockiness. I find that highly admirable! :)

améliemomo
Mar 25th, 2005, 09:39 PM
Actually, I met Amelie in person and can say that she is quite beautiful. Not just in the physical sense, but her personality is so inviting, so genuine. She is so kind and sincere, I cannot speak highly enough about her. It's so nice to see such a modest, generous player as herself on tour. There's not an ounce of arrogance in her. She plays her game to the best of her ability and lets her tennis speak for her, without the need to boast or display any cockiness. I find that highly admirable! :)


+1000000!!!!!!!!!!!lol!

Mariangelina
Mar 26th, 2005, 12:06 PM
Steffica Greles, I'm a lesbian firmly lodged in the closet, and I can tell you I find "this coming out thing" fairly interesting! :lol: :smash: Maybe it was easy, boring, and matter-of-fact for you. It's not for everyone. Some people, like Amélie, have judgmental, homophobic parents and have it all going on in the public eye. Some people, such as myself, are surrounded by organised religion that claims to accept and love us while saying lovely, Christian, understanding things such as "love the sinner, hate the sin." Ummm, sure.

Anyway, this is a great article (it's not just about coming out either) and it's nice to read about a player who can form complete sentences and doesn't brag about herself every second sentence. Thank you for posting it, spiceboy.

Serena+LenaDrule
Mar 26th, 2005, 12:21 PM
Wish Momo good luck in the Future ;)
At least one slam

TheBoiledEgg
Mar 26th, 2005, 12:31 PM
Spicey....... old article but a good one
I posted this around 6 weeks ago ;) :wavey:

Bumsby
Mar 26th, 2005, 12:35 PM
it's nice to read about a player who can form complete sentences and doesn't brag about herself every second
:worship: :yeah:

Tylane
Mar 26th, 2005, 12:45 PM
This article is good, it's like that I see her. She's a nice and very human person, that's why she's often too sensible. And yes, she is complex.

TonyP
Mar 26th, 2005, 12:48 PM
Several points that must be addressed, as long as this old story continues to come up six years later.

The article does NOT reference the fact that Mauresmo and her girlfriend were seen necking at numerous locations around the grounds at the '99 Australian Open, including at least once in the women's locker room.

THAT is apparently what several players (not Hingis) objected to, going to WTA officials to complain. Before the tournament was over, WTA officials had counseled Mauresmo to tone down the public displays of affection.

While you might make a case that they had the right to neck in other parts of the venue, the women's locker room should have been strictly out of bounds. That is obviously a place where women change clothes and shower and overt acts of sexuality there seem very out of place. Could straight women bring their boyfriends in and neck with them in the women's locker room? Nobody would suggest that such a thing would be proper.

Kissing in public seems to be a badge of honor for lesbians. Whether it should or should not be is not my business. But the tennis venue is the players' workplace and just as it is not consider appropriate for a couple to neck in the office, it is not appropriate for high visibility players to neck in public at a tennis event.

Lastly, and this will perhaps spark controvery, the fact that the '99 Australian Open story is retold again and again and again by tennis journalists --now six years after the fact --- is an indication in my mind of how little Mauresmo has accomplished in tennis.

She has never gotten back to a slam final in all that time, never won a really big tournament, such as Miami, Indian Wells or the year end championships. She got to number one for a brief period, and for that she gets credit, but that is her only real achievement.

Maybe, had she done a little more with her career in the past six years, journalists would find something to write about besides her politically correct status as a lesbian.

SM
Mar 26th, 2005, 12:53 PM
that was a great read. she seems very smart. :)

swiss
Mar 26th, 2005, 12:57 PM
Several points that must be addressed, as long as this old story continues to come up six years later.

The article does NOT reference the fact that Mauresmo and her girlfriend were seen necking at numerous locations around the grounds at the '99 Australian Open, including at least once in the women's locker room.

THAT is apparently what several players (not Hingis) objected to, going to WTA officials to complain. Before the tournament was over, WTA officials had counseled Mauresmo to tone down the public displays of affection.

While you might make a case that they had the right to neck in other parts of the venue, the women's locker room should have been strictly out of bounds. That is obviously a place where women change clothes and shower and overt acts of sexuality there seem very out of place. Could straight women bring their boyfriends in and neck with them in the women's locker room? Nobody would suggest that such a thing would be proper.

Kissing in public seems to be a badge of honor for lesbians. Whether it should or should not be is not my business. But the tennis venue is the players' workplace and just as it is not consider appropriate for a couple to neck in the office, it is not appropriate for high visibility players to neck in public at a tennis event.

Lastly, and this will perhaps spark controvery, the fact that the '99 Australian Open story is retold again and again and again by tennis journalists --now six years after the fact --- is an indication in my mind of how little Mauresmo has accomplished in tennis.

She has never gotten back to a slam final in all that time, never won a really big tournament, such as Miami, Indian Wells or the year end championships. She got to number one for a brief period, and for that she gets credit, but that is her only real achievement.

Maybe, had she done a little more with her career in the past six years, journalists would find something to write about besides her politically correct status as a lesbian.

OMG, again a big troll who was (is ?) always in the locker room or the closet
and had seen those hoooorrriiible things, six years ago and never manage to recover :lol: :lol: :lol:

TonyP
Mar 26th, 2005, 01:07 PM
OMG, can you deal with facts, rather than personal insults? If you have logical arguments to refute what I wrote, present them. I'd be interested in reading them.

Let's see if you can make an actual contribution or are limited to personal insults.

Veritas
Mar 26th, 2005, 01:08 PM
Lindsay Davenport, who lost to her in the semi-final, said, with a terrible tang of sour grapes: "She played like a man."

It amazes me how ignorant or just plain stupid some people in the media industry can be. Lindsay made it clear that the "played like a man" comment was a reference to the power of Amelie's groundstrokes, not her physique.

TonyP
Mar 26th, 2005, 01:13 PM
But Lindsay also said she was "intimidated" by Mauresmo large shoulders. Why would the 6'3" Lindsay Davenport be "intimidated" by the 5'9" Amelie Mauresmo. If Lindsay thinks looking at her across the net was intimidating, what does she think most women feel like when she steps up to the net? It must be like looking up at the Chrysler Building.

MinnyGophers
Mar 26th, 2005, 01:20 PM
But Lindsay also said she was "intimidated" by Mauresmo large shoulders. Why would the 6'3" Lindsay Davenport be "intimidated" by the 5'9" Amelie Mauresmo. If Lindsay thinks looking at her across the net was intimidating, what does she think most women feel like when she steps up to the net? It must be like looking up at the Chrysler Building.


Lindsay said after that incident that she was pissed at the media for twisting her words around. I quote" You probably hurt the feelings of a very nice girl", and then added that she wouldn't give a shit anymore about interviewers and she doesn't care if her interviews are boring thereafter.

hablo
Mar 26th, 2005, 01:29 PM
Spicey....... old article but a good one
I posted this around 6 weeks ago ;) :wavey:

I knew I had seen this before, especially the part of the russian in a bigger restaurant!;) :lol:

hablo
Mar 26th, 2005, 01:33 PM
Maybe, had she done a little more with her career in the past six years, journalists would find something to write about besides her politically correct status as a lesbian.

Lame. Real Lame. Journalists always find a way to write crap, whether a tennis player is considered to have accomplished a lot or not! :rolleyes: :tape: :o

swiss
Mar 26th, 2005, 02:13 PM
OMG, can you deal with facts, rather than personal insults? If you have logical arguments to refute what I wrote, present them. I'd be interested in reading them.

Let's see if you can make an actual contribution or are limited to personal insults.
me insulting somebody ? :p
logical arguments ??? about what ???
you 're kidding ??
that's not me who pretend to know what's done in the locker room :rolleyes:
why have you so many red notes under your name ? :lol: :lol:

mishar
Mar 26th, 2005, 03:07 PM
I always liked Martina Hingis -- i think overall she seems like a very nice person - as well as a great player -- but her comments in 1999 were appalling. there is no way to get around that. Tony P's unsourced aspersions on Amelie have no impact on that. Even if they were true (and I see no evidence, in my experience straight people often react to gay people hysterically: they see an affectionate hug and describe it as naked kissing on the floor) even if it were true, and that was what was bothering Hingis, there was no justification for her public mocking of Mauresmo. It was truly unsportsmanlike, as well as homophobic.

I'm afraid Martina paid dearly for her comment, however. The crowd reaction at the 99 FO final was based on disliking her because of that commented (shown by the boos she received at the Gaz De France earlier that year). And really that FO final was the beginning of the end for Martina. Karma works in mysterious ways.

Fantastic
Mar 26th, 2005, 04:07 PM
When you translate German phrases into English, you often get weird interpretations. The "half a man" comment was translated from Swiss-German into English, hence the rude-sounding interpretation of the phrase. Martina has reportedly made her peace with Amelie - privately - which is the way it should be done! If the media still has a problem with it, then that's their problem, not ours, Martina's or Amelie's.

wta whore 79
Mar 26th, 2005, 04:17 PM
Kissing in public seems to be a badge of honor for lesbians.

Whoa, overgeneralize much? :rolleyes:

Mariangelina
Mar 27th, 2005, 02:24 AM
Did Amélie beat up your grandma or something? :confused:

I personally find it a little annoying when people neck in public places, but they're not doing anything awful. It's their right, and their fun outweighs my mild irritation. I know i wouldn't complain if it were me. :drool:

I'm sure many, many straight players neck in public and possibly to the annoyance of others, and the simple reason that this does not occur in the womens' locker room is that random men are not allowed in there.

I don't want to accuse you of homophobia groundlessly, but no one has any right to complain about necking anywhere except possibly the women's locker room, and that's grounds for being considered oblivious to one's surroundings, not for being publicly mocked. The former well-known couple Clijsters and Hewitt's public displays of affection met, as far as we know, with no whining to the WTA or ATP from scandalised fellow players. Tennis is a career, but the "workplace" is the court, not the whole venue, city, hotel room, however far you want to take it. (Making out on court would be unprofessional, yes. ;) )

I've never noticed lesbians making kissing any more of a badge of honour than straights. I think it's a love thing, not an orientation thing. People with little else to occupy themselves just get more flustered when it's two ladies.

And Amélie Mauresmo has accomplished more in her career than the vast, vast, vast majority of players, her career's hardly over yet, and they're going to interview her because she's a good player, she's not stupid, and no matter how they make you squirm, she's got some interesting stories attached to her.

ceiling_fan
Mar 27th, 2005, 02:46 AM
so what amelia is a lesbian?
how come i never knew this? :confused: ....

DutchieGirl
Mar 27th, 2005, 03:23 AM
****YAWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNN****:zzz:

Why do straight people find this "coming out" thing so fascinating?

I've done it, lots of people on this board have done it. But once you've done it, in my humble experience, you don't think about it ever again. You can tell your story to those interested a number of times, but eventually it gets annoying. It's just a part of life that some people have to go through and not all.

And there's many hard aspects of life that I, as a gay man, haven't had to go through - thankfully. "Coming out" is just one of an innumerable amount of difficult life experiences in the wider picture.

So why does this boring rubbish get dredged up over and over again?

:scratch: I'm gay and I still found the article interesting! Amelie's sweet! :D

alfonsojose
Mar 27th, 2005, 03:53 AM
so what amelia is a lesbian?
how come i never knew this? :confused: ....
Where have u been?

Asmus
Mar 27th, 2005, 04:06 AM
Great article! Coming out definitely does get old once you've done it although even after the actual fact it is still somewhat of a process as one must come out to people over and over again and deal with the second-class treatment that gay people have so I have no complaints about coming-out stories being written. I also thought that the article addressed the "post-coming out" angle well. While it's true that it's something people should accept as for granted and not make a big deal of, the truth is that it is still difficult for people to come out IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD and any exposure is nice. Amelie is also a refreshing voice among the many self-absorbed and narrow-minded voices in sports. I actually think that tennis players are much more worldly and open-minded than the majority of athletes and Amelie is a fantastic ambassador for the sport. Also I'm thrilled to hear that she has a new girlfriend!

alwayshingis
Mar 27th, 2005, 04:48 AM
AMELIE :kiss: :worship: :bounce: :kiss: :worship: :bounce:

XaDavK_Kapri
Mar 27th, 2005, 05:03 AM
Really great article :) Thanks

TonyP
Mar 27th, 2005, 01:37 PM
My points are the following:

Whether lesbians or anybody else has the right to neck in public is disputable. What I don't think is in dispute is that it happened. I saw a few references to their actions at the time in the press and I have heard commentators, including Tracy Austin, mention it on the air.

You can debate whether it was or was not right for Mauresmo and her partner to smooch in public. But I stand fast on my statement that is was completely inappropriate in the women's locker room.

I happen to think Hingis' remark was out of place, too, but she did NOT initiate it. She was asked to comment on Davenport's remark that playing Mauresmo was like playing a man. Martina apparently played off that remark and made a bad wise crack. There was not at the time nor has there been any reason to believe she was homophobic, having gotten along with other lesbians on the tour, including Navratilova, who has said publicly she would love to play doubles with her someday.

If Navratilova, a lesbian who actualls knows Hingis, is willing to accept her, why do so
many fans who never met her in their lives have such animosity towards her for a single wisecrack made six years ago?

In the end, my question is, why does this same, six year old incident, come up again and again when talking about Mauresmo? Why is her "coming out" the topic of endless stories in the tennis press, six years after the event?

Is that incident six years ago. the reason she has never won a slam or any other really big tournament? Has nothing else happened in the life of Amelie Mauresmo in the past six year that's worth writing about?

Or is it just a politically correct excuse, designed to win sympathy for her?

Bumsby
Mar 27th, 2005, 02:02 PM
Has nothing else happened in the life of Amelie Mauresmo in the past six year that's worth writing about?

Or is it just a politically correct excuse, designed to win sympathy for her?
I don't agree with you on this one. If she won a Grand Slam or two, they'd talk about it even more.

I don't know why everyone seems to have such a vivid memory of that, although so much time has passed :confused:
is it because it was such a "candid" coming out? Because it happened at the same time she became known to the big public as a tennis player? Because practically she's the only tennis player (besides Nav) who came out? I have no idea...

But yeah, the more she wins, the more they'll go over it, that's for sure

Kart
Mar 27th, 2005, 02:08 PM
Oh I love Amelie :hearts:.

Re: Oz open 1999, Martina H has always gotten a bad rap out of this (unfairly so IMHO) judging by the article will always continue to do so :rolleyes: :yawn:.

I seem to remember reading recently that Amelie and Martina have put it behind them (even if others can't) which is surely the only thing that matters ...

Mariangelina
Mar 28th, 2005, 10:52 AM
Well, we were told Martina finally did apologise- while on her commentating gig at the YEC 2004. :tape:

What Martina said was very obnoxious and thoughtless, and her "process of admission" reminded me of that of many six-year-olds- "I didn't say that. Why would I say that?" "Okay, you have me on tape, I said it- but it was a JOKE!" "I think I was justified, because I don't want to see them kissing in public!" "I don't think i have anything to apologise for." :lol: However, I think most of us could be judged rather harshly on stupid things we said six years ago, and we might not want to be. I think it's time to lay off on Martina.

But trying to justify her comment is pointless. And it didn't come from being asked to comment on Davenport's- a Swiss journalist asked Martina about her match with Momo in the US Open 1998 and asked if anything was different about her opponent (we assume this person meant her game) since then. "Well, she's here with her girlfriend- she's half a man. Hee hee hee." It was certainly a homophobic (and gratuitous) comment; I suspect it might have been an attempt at throwing off her inexperienced opponent. Unfortunately, it worked- for like the next three years. :o :sad:

Well, about the media and Amélie's coming out:

1. She came out at the same time she made her big breakthrough as a player. In six years all the articles about Sveta Kuznetsova will go on about her US Open win. If you're trying to summarise someone's career, you kind of have to touch on that.

2. For a lot of people, it is an interesting story. You may be indifferent, but a casual fan who doesn't know much about tennis (even more so if they're gay) is going to remember that girl. She's the only player with a similar story.

3. I do think that incident was the cause of a lot of Amélie's big-match issues. It made the media flock all over her, which has never helped her, she was apparently quite hurt by both the comments other players directed at her (she said she had rather poor body image for a few years, which never helps anyone) and how the media depicted her. She's basically admitted all this was very bad for her confidence.

Basically, the media chain of reasoning goes like this: "Okay, this girl's really talented, but she hasn't won any Grand Slams. Why? She gets injured a lot and she chokes a lot in big matches. Why? She doesn't have a lot of confidence. Why? She gets injured a lot, and the entire country of France is driving her crazy, and maybe that whole Australian Open incident- I should write about that!" :lol: I never claimed they were that original, but like it or not, it's a very significant event in her career.

I think she'll win at least one Slam. And look to my sig and the little Amélie blurb. I have someone specific in mind who "'em" might refer to... :angel: :devil:

Yasmine
Mar 28th, 2005, 12:04 PM
First of all, I don't see what you're here for TonyP if it's not to generate animosity rather than constructive talk :shrug: :tape:

Anyway I think it is a great article, to reply to some comments I read in here:
about the coming out: Stefficaseles, you said you went through it and it seems like it's gone okay. However homosexuality is still a weird subject for most people in our today's society and I find it great that a public person like her spoke about it. I see it as a way to get people to accept it better in general. :yeah: To carry on what it says about her country (yeah a bit of patriotism from me here). Actually I am pretty proud of it that way, other public people have in France come out openly, starting with a politician who is now the mayor of Paris and did a lot for the Capital. So it's a great example of tolerance. (end of my patriotism, sorry if it bothers anyone).

About the Davenport and Hingis comments: Some journalists really want to stir things up. And even if 6 years later, she recovered from the incident, when a stupid journalist brings it back she just replies. Now I can see someone saying well she should have replied differently blablabla, but if she'd said "No comment" people would still make note of the fact she's not over it and doesn't want to talk about it :rolleyes: I can't remember exactly the comments but it seems that Lindsay's were misinterpreted and her words were put out of the context. And although she's over it for a long time, it's not something she's gonna forget as it was the time she came out in the tennis community.

Amélie you're a star :worship: and such a nice person as I'm another lucky one who met her;) A Granslam victory would be great this year!

Drimal
Mar 28th, 2005, 01:18 PM
:yeah: Nice article though a little bit too long! :yeah:


Passion player rises above the prejudice
By Sue Mott

Mauresmo is neither of the above. She is, remarkably in the upper echelons of women's tennis, punctual, unfussy, apparently not of a royal bloodline and, above all, pleasantly mild-mannered. There is not a mean bone in her. Marvellous for friendships. Almost fatal for sport.

It's the reason I like and support Amélie. :D



She yearned to win an Olympic gold medal in Athens, but came away with the silver instead.

One can lose against Justine Henin-Hardenne. ;)

She lives alongside the reputation for arch-vulnerability in a crisis. Where is that Grand Slam title? "It will come," she said simply. "I think everyone has their own speed. I take a little more time to get my maturity than the Williams sisters or the Belgians. It's the way I am. I'm happy with that.

I think 16 titles up to now are more than 1 Grand Slam title. The day will come on which Amélie will win a GS for sure.

"But I have to say I am proud that our President had this position of not going to Iraq. People asked me and I said I was against these things. I understand that sometimes you want to dominate and fight, but I'm not sure that's the answer.".

:clap2: :yeah: Well said Amélie! I'm also against this silly president Bush and his cowboy mentality. War is never a solution to resolve such crucial problems as terrorism is one.

Mauresmo will turn 26 at Wimbledon this year. Not too late to win a major title. In the meantime, the void has its little compensations.


Good luck at Wimbledon Amélie! :kiss: :bounce:

TonyP
Mar 28th, 2005, 01:49 PM
delte

TonyP
Mar 28th, 2005, 01:49 PM
"It was certainly a homophobic (and gratuitous) comment; I suspect it might have been an attempt at throwing off her inexperienced opponent. Unfortunately, it worked- for like the next three years."

Hingis had never lost to Mauresmo at the time, so the idea she was trying to throw her off is kind of a stretch in my view.

But I am even more amazed that you believe this incident has impacted Mauresmo for years. If so, than it was because of her own miscalculation. Mauresmo had "come out" earlier in the tournament, before her match with Davenport. That's what had directed the media's attention to her.

In Mauresmo's defense, she might not have expected to get the kind of atttention she did, but in view of the number of gay women on the tour, including Martinez, Fernandez and Novotna, who have never come out openly, she probably should have expected her announcement to cause a sensation.

I think she also should have known that smooching in public was going to trigger reactions in some people. I personally don't want to see straight players smooching in public, either. I think it is just out of place at the tennis venue. And that is the operative phrase here -- on the grounds of the tennis venue. Taking it into the women's locker room was completely out of place. It would be like gay men having sex in a communal shower in the military. It would do incalcuable harm to gay rights.


Whether what Mauresmo did was intended to be provocative or not, I have no idea. My guess is, it wasn't, but that was not how it was perceived and other women players went to the WTA to complain.


Anyway, to blame her subsequent failure to win big matches on the psychological scars from an incident in 1999 is just amazing to me. Its a kind of pop psychology theory that usually doesn't hold much water.

Some players are obviously better than others at dealing with fame and with media scrutiny. But to use that was an excuse for not achieving is kind of amazing. I may not have paid enough attention, but I have never heard of Henman using this as an excuse for failing to win Wimbledon and he certainly has been under that kind of pressure.

The tennis media does have a tendency to regurgitate old stories, note how many times they refer to Capriati's problems of years ago, bringing them up again and again. How about Monica? She hasn't done anything in life after getting stabbed --in 1993?

Is it natural to do this, or is it just what is known in the press as boiler plate --repeating an established story that you can use to pad your column.

My point is, this is a story almost everyone in tennis knows and has known for six years now. Why does it keep coming up again and again and again?

Yasmine
Mar 28th, 2005, 02:29 PM
My point is, this is a story almost everyone in tennis knows and has known for six years now. Why does it keep coming up again and again and again?
well ask the journalists who do bring it back ;) :devil:

griffin
Mar 28th, 2005, 03:45 PM
My point is, this is a story almost everyone in tennis knows and has known for six years now. Why does it keep coming up again and again and again?

You're a journalist, TonyP, why are you asking us? :lol:

TonyP
Mar 28th, 2005, 04:05 PM
It was a rhetorical question. The answer is, they are lazy. They rely often on what is called boilerplate.

Probably one of the worst aspects of the tennis press is, many of them don't particularly like tennis or at least, aren't much interested in watching it.

Lisa Dillman of the LA Times ran a story a couple of years back about coverage of the Australian Open. She wrote that many of the journalists were having such a hard time coming up with interesting story lines that they were sitting in the press room, watching other things on TV, like golf, football, etc.

I have never been there, but I have been to Indian Wells, where I have seen a lot more journalists watching NCAA basketball on their TV monitors than tennis. IN some cases, they were watching other sports on TV, while a match was going on on center court and their press box seats were only steps away from them.

In some cases, reporters actually deceive their readers, because they have watched little of a match and other than the final score, really know little about what happened, especially if it is an early round match.

There has been in general a down grading of journalism throughout the entire profession in the past 20 years, as corporate control has grown and the search for more profits has become the paramount concern of the people in charge.

There is also very clear bias on the part of many reporters, but most of it is nationalistic bias. I have not seen bias in regards to race or sexual orientation, although some probably exists.

And while I have your attention, griffin, what do the red and green dots mean and what the heck is 500 vcash?

DelMonte
Mar 28th, 2005, 04:07 PM
TonyP is a journalist? A sports/tennis journalist? Is this a joke? (Seriously now.)

DelMonte
Mar 28th, 2005, 04:10 PM
Sorry, I should probably address myself directly to TonyP. Are you really a journalist?

Mariangelina
Mar 28th, 2005, 08:39 PM
Oh dear.

Hingis had never lost to Mauresmo at the time, so the idea she was trying to throw her off is kind of a stretch in my view.

If I was playing someone in a Slam final who had taken a set off me the last two times we played and had just beaten the world #1, my main rival, with few signs of nerves (for once :o ) I might try to throw her off a bit. It's not nice, but a lot of people would try it.

But I am even more amazed that you believe this incident has impacted Mauresmo for years. If so, than it was because of her own miscalculation. Mauresmo had "come out" earlier in the tournament, before her match with Davenport. That's what had directed the media's attention to her.

In Mauresmo's defense, she might not have expected to get the kind of atttention she did, but in view of the number of gay women on the tour, including Martinez, Fernandez and Novotna, who have never come out openly, she probably should have expected her announcement to cause a sensation.


I think it's impacted her because she's said in (mostly French) interviews that it has. So not wanting to hide who you are for your whole damn life is a miscalculation? Some journalist asked her why she'd moved from Paris to St-Tropez; she said because she moved in with her girlfriend. That simple. She admitted she had no idea how much attention that little admission would cause and was quite unaware of it; most people, especially media-inexperienced teenagers, don't expect something like that to cause that much attention- or for people to blame them because they were badly treated.

I think she also should have known that smooching in public was going to trigger reactions in some people. I personally don't want to see straight players smooching in public, either. I think it is just out of place at the tennis venue. And that is the operative phrase here -- on the grounds of the tennis venue. Taking it into the women's locker room was completely out of place. It would be like gay men having sex in a communal shower in the military. It would do incalcuable harm to gay rights.

So let me get this straight; Amélie kissing her girlfriend in the locker room did incalculable harm to gay rights and is as obnoxious as having sex in a shower. :shrug: Some people would object to straights kissing in an area not designed for that purpose- but it wouldn't do "incalculable harm" to anyone. I would think it would be more humourous than shocking.


Whether what Mauresmo did was intended to be provocative or not, I have no idea. My guess is, it wasn't, but that was not how it was perceived and other women players went to the WTA to complain.


Anyway, to blame her subsequent failure to win big matches on the psychological scars from an incident in 1999 is just amazing to me. Its a kind of pop psychology theory that usually doesn't hold much water.

Some players are obviously better than others at dealing with fame and with media scrutiny. But to use that was an excuse for not achieving is kind of amazing. I may not have paid enough attention, but I have never heard of Henman using this as an excuse for failing to win Wimbledon and he certainly has been under that kind of pressure.


Amélie said all the ridiculousness over the years affected her confidence for at least a few years. I would hope she's over that particular debacle by now- but it certainly contributed. And if it weren't for all the media idiocy, particularly in France, partly fueled by this whole incident, there would have been a lot less pressure on her. Underachieving is almost never due to just one reason. And I would say Tim Henman's reason is he's just not quite a good enough player. :o

The tennis media does have a tendency to regurgitate old stories, note how many times they refer to Capriati's problems of years ago, bringing them up again and again. How about Monica? She hasn't done anything in life after getting stabbed --in 1993?

Is it natural to do this, or is it just what is known in the press as boiler plate --repeating an established story that you can use to pad your column.

My point is, this is a story almost everyone in tennis knows and has known for six years now. Why does it keep coming up again and again and again?

Because not everyone who reads these articles has followed tennis for the last six years. And it was, like it or not, a significant event in her career.