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alwayshingis
Jun 1st, 2008, 05:44 PM
PARIS -- Former French Open winner Mary Pierce, sidelined for 18 months since undergoing surgery for a ruptured knee ligament, said she's still holding out hope for a return to the WTA circuit.

Pierce, who is working as a commentator for French television at Roland Garros, conceded that time may be running out for her to achieve her original goal of being in shape to play in the Beijing Olympics this August. Her protected ranking of No. 27, where she stood the week after her injury in October 2006, would automatically qualify her for the French squad.
"It's tough to say," she told ESPN.com Sunday. "I haven't ruled it out yet. It's coming very quickly and it's very soon."
But on the upside, the 33-year-old Pierce said she's finally healthy after a rehabilitation period that proved much longer than she or the doctors expected. She said her recovery was slowed by edema (swelling and/or bruising) that developed within the bone.

"They said it would be about four to six months and it's been about a year and a half," Pierce said.

"Yes, I'm healthy, doing well, my knee is finally healed. I have a desire to come back and play again, so after the French Open, I'm going to start physical training, and if I'm able to get fit and strong, then I'll start hitting the ball and playing tennis again.
"If all goes well and my body reacts well, and I feel I have a good high level to compete amongst the best then I'll come back and play."

Pierce crumpled to the court in the late going of a match against Russia's Vera Zvonareva in Linz, Austria when her left knee buckled as she was chasing down a shot. She screamed in pain and had to be wheeled off on a gurney.
After having surgery in Vail, Colo., Pierce remained there for the next six months -- hobbling for three months on crutches specially equipped with spikes to provide traction in the ice and snow -- and liked the area so much she considered moving there. She then spent several months in London, returned to her home in Florida last December and came to France a few months ago.

Pierce said she misses "Running, jumping, sweating, being in the sun ... for quite a few months, I pondered what I should do and wasn't sure. Then it just finally became clear."

The half-French, half-American Pierce turned pro in 1989, won the Australian Open in 1995 and was a top-10 fixture through the 2000 season, when she became the first woman of French nationality to win at Roland Garros since 1967.
Her form slipped in subsequent years, but she made a comeback in 2005, when she reached the finals of the French Open, the U.S. Open and the WTA year-end championships and finished the year at No. 5.

"It doesn't feel like too long ago," she said.

"I definitely need clarity," Pierce said of her competitive limbo. "Sometimes things aren't clear right away. That's where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead. Hopefully, I should know soon. I'm either able to or I'm not. If I'm not, that's OK, at least I tried, I can go on to other things."
Her protected ranking expires in October.

Sunday, Pierce predicted Serbia's Ana Ivanovic would win the women's title. "I like her, and I like her game," Pierce said. "She made the finals here last year so she knows what it's kind of all about. She's gotten very fit over the last year or two and I think she's my favorite for the tournament."

Bonnie D. Ford covers tennis and Olympic sports for ESPN.com.

hankqq
Jun 1st, 2008, 05:49 PM
I hope Pierce can give 1 last comeback, but this has been the story of her career: she gets hot and then either has 1 bad match that sends her into a downward spiral, or she gets injured. She could never fully live up to her potential. If she could play at a high level for 1 more season, I'd be happy.

mckyle.
Jun 1st, 2008, 05:58 PM
I hope Pierce can give 1 last comeback, but this has been the story of her career: she gets hot and then either has 1 bad match that sends her into a downward spiral, or she gets injured. She could never fully live up to her potential. If she could play at a high level for 1 more season, I'd be happy.

Yup. In my opinion, Pierce has been the most talented player to ever play women's tennis, but she couldn't stay healthy. Who knows what she could have done with her career. Definitely more than two slams...

Oh well. That's just the way it goes sometimes.

kwilliams
Jun 1st, 2008, 06:03 PM
Hopefully she'll be back on the courts soon, at 33 though I'm not sure if she could do too much.

champion88
Jun 1st, 2008, 06:05 PM
I really hope to se her again. When she is on she is untouchable!!

Willam
Jun 1st, 2008, 06:08 PM
Hopefully she'll be back on the courts soon, at 33 though I'm not sure if she could do too much.

for me age is not that important.

hankqq
Jun 1st, 2008, 06:09 PM
Yup. In my opinion, Pierce has been the most talented player to ever play women's tennis, but she couldn't stay healthy. Who knows what she could have done with her career. Definitely more than two slams...

Oh well. That's just the way it goes sometimes.


well, I wouldn't say most talented in women's tennis, but she's up there for sure.

mirzalover
Jun 1st, 2008, 06:10 PM
I hope she came just get back on court so she can leave on her own terms. I couldnt imagine having the desire to play but not being able to due to injury and age.

kwilliams
Jun 1st, 2008, 06:13 PM
for me age is not that important.

Usually I would agree and both Pierce and Davenport showed in 2005 that they were still very capable players but 33 is retiring age. It often seems that a lot of players retire at 29/30 or 32/33. She certainly has the talent and the will but after being off the tour for so long I would worry about how quickly she can develop the fitness needed to compete at the top levels. At least her ranking has been protected so she can get some decent draws at events and build up to big matches.

Williamsser
Jun 1st, 2008, 06:14 PM
Good luck, Mary!

spiritedenergy
Jun 1st, 2008, 06:19 PM
PARIS -- Former French Open winner Mary Pierce, sidelined for 18 months since undergoing surgery for a ruptured knee ligament, said she's still holding out hope for a return to the WTA circuit.

Pierce, who is working as a commentator for French television at Roland Garros, conceded that time may be running out for her to achieve her original goal of being in shape to play in the Beijing Olympics this August. Her protected ranking of No. 27, where she stood the week after her injury in October 2006, would automatically qualify her for the French squad.
"It's tough to say," she told ESPN.com Sunday. "I haven't ruled it out yet. It's coming very quickly and it's very soon."
But on the upside, the 33-year-old Pierce said she's finally healthy after a rehabilitation period that proved much longer than she or the doctors expected. She said her recovery was slowed by edema (swelling and/or bruising) that developed within the bone.

"They said it would be about four to six months and it's been about a year and a half," Pierce said.

"Yes, I'm healthy, doing well, my knee is finally healed. I have a desire to come back and play again, so after the French Open, I'm going to start physical training, and if I'm able to get fit and strong, then I'll start hitting the ball and playing tennis again.
"If all goes well and my body reacts well, and I feel I have a good high level to compete amongst the best then I'll come back and play."

Pierce crumpled to the court in the late going of a match against Russia's Vera Zvonareva in Linz, Austria when her left knee buckled as she was chasing down a shot. She screamed in pain and had to be wheeled off on a gurney.
After having surgery in Vail, Colo., Pierce remained there for the next six months -- hobbling for three months on crutches specially equipped with spikes to provide traction in the ice and snow -- and liked the area so much she considered moving there. She then spent several months in London, returned to her home in Florida last December and came to France a few months ago.

Pierce said she misses "Running, jumping, sweating, being in the sun ... for quite a few months, I pondered what I should do and wasn't sure. Then it just finally became clear."

The half-French, half-American Pierce turned pro in 1989, won the Australian Open in 1995 and was a top-10 fixture through the 2000 season, when she became the first woman of French nationality to win at Roland Garros since 1967.
Her form slipped in subsequent years, but she made a comeback in 2005, when she reached the finals of the French Open, the U.S. Open and the WTA year-end championships and finished the year at No. 5.

"It doesn't feel like too long ago," she said.

"I definitely need clarity," Pierce said of her competitive limbo. "Sometimes things aren't clear right away. That's where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead. Hopefully, I should know soon. I'm either able to or I'm not. If I'm not, that's OK, at least I tried, I can go on to other things."
Her protected ranking expires in October.

Sunday, Pierce predicted Serbia's Ana Ivanovic would win the women's title. "I like her, and I like her game," Pierce said. "She made the finals here last year so she knows what it's kind of all about. She's gotten very fit over the last year or two and I think she's my favorite for the tournament."

Bonnie D. Ford covers tennis and Olympic sports for ESPN.com.

My favorite player Mary Pierce endorses my other favorite. Mary Ana plays just like you of course you like her:hearts::kiss:

IanRadi
Jun 1st, 2008, 07:04 PM
Mary has the game, the problem will be her body. However, I love her so much that I know she will be back and will show us she's definitely one of the most talented players of tennis' history.

I miss you Mary "Lady" Pierce :sobbing:

MistyGrey
Jun 1st, 2008, 08:50 PM
All the best Mahree!

fatty sausage
Jun 1st, 2008, 08:52 PM
Mary should enjoy life and just retire like justine.

Sund7101
Jun 1st, 2008, 08:59 PM
Exciting she wants one last go at it, can't wait to see you back Mary!

janko
Jun 1st, 2008, 09:21 PM
Go Mary!!

When you have a look at the top 20, there's definitely a place for her. Good luck!

The Dawntreader
Jun 1st, 2008, 09:24 PM
I hope Mary comes back on her own terms, and not under the duress of trying to play at the Olympics. I fear for her fitness if she tries a comeback too soon.

Love her though, so hopes she is back:D

fufuqifuqishahah
Jun 1st, 2008, 09:32 PM
Mary's game reminds me of Ana's, but fiercer

rawr Mary

WhatTheDeuce
Jun 1st, 2008, 09:37 PM
I hope more than anything that she comes back, it'd be nice to have another player from the "old guard" in the mix. It'll be sad to never witness those laser-like groundstrokes again (live, anyway).

Allez Mahree!

DOUBLEFIST
Jun 1st, 2008, 10:08 PM
...if I'm able to get fit and strong, then I'll start hitting the ball and playing tennis again.
"If all goes well and my body reacts well, and I feel I have a good high level to compete amongst the best then I'll come back and play."...

Unfortunately, that's a lot of "ifs".

Zehri98
Jun 1st, 2008, 10:21 PM
I think Mary should do whatever makes her happy and what her body allows but for my own selfish reasons - Comeback Mary! Look at the Top 20, Mary could seriously wipe the floor with a large number of these players if she were healthy! I love tennis but I love it more with Mary Pierce playing! Aaaaarrrgggghhhhh, the frustration! Hahahaha!

Shvedbarilescu
Jun 1st, 2008, 10:34 PM
Unfortunately, that's a lot of "ifs".

I was thinking the same thing. In terms of her recovery it is clear from this article the last 18 months have not been easy for Mary. And whereas once Mary was pretty confident she would be back now there seems to be a more realistic whatever will be will be attitude. I still get the feeling that Mary Pierce has not given up making an attempt to comeback but it does sound like she is now coming to terms with the fact that try as she might it might just not be on the cards. Obviously if this is a hard thing for her fans to face it is a much harder thing for the athlete themselves to face.

It does now seem that what once was a definate planned comeback is indeed now a possible planned comeback. Credit to alwayshingis for titling the thread accurately. Credit too, to Mary Pierce herself for the strength she has obviously shown during this tough time, I wish her the best of luck whether she returns to the circuit or not.

danieln1
Jun 1st, 2008, 10:36 PM
My favorite player Mary Pierce endorses my other favorite. Mary Ana plays just like you of course you like her:hearts::kiss:

Yeah, Ana hit a forehand today during her match that resembled Pierce´s bomb forehand, a joy to watch!

sharapovarulz1
Jun 1st, 2008, 10:43 PM
Be great to have you back Mary :D

CrossCourt~Rally
Jun 1st, 2008, 10:44 PM
I really hope Mary makes a comeback. She is one of the most entertaining players to watch of all time :kiss:. :bounce:

thrust
Jun 1st, 2008, 11:53 PM
for me age is not that important.

For tennis age is VERY important, especially for women past thirty. Mary would be crazy to come back and risk another serious injury. She has NO chance of winning any top tournament, nevermind a Slam.

Zauber
Jun 2nd, 2008, 12:01 AM
half french half american give me a break
half canadian half psycho.
i better shut up. too much said allready.

homogenius
Jun 2nd, 2008, 12:11 AM
half french half american give me a break
half canadian half psycho.
i better shut up. too much said allready.

http://yelims3.free.fr/Grrrrrrrrrrrr/grrr48.gif

Lindsayfan32
Jun 2nd, 2008, 03:04 AM
I've never been a big fan of Mary's but I hope she does get to make some kind of comeback. You don't like to see anyone retire because of injury and I miss the slug fests Mary and Lindsay used to have. Tennis played the way it was meant to be play hard and fast.

PLP
Jun 2nd, 2008, 04:17 AM
Now that Hingis has announced three big exhos over the next few months, I think it would be really beneficial to see her and Mary have a match or two, if not with Hingis, than maybe with Monica or Navratilova?
I just think that would be a wonderful preliminary, no pressure situation for Mary to test herself out, she has been out for awhile.

But I digress, I think she could at least top 20 if she comes back fit and with Belief!

Shvedbarilescu
Jun 2nd, 2008, 07:29 AM
For tennis age is VERY important, especially for women past thirty. Mary would be crazy to come back and risk another serious injury. She has NO chance of winning any top tournament, nevermind a Slam.

I would agree with a lot of this post but not all of it. Age is very important as you say. When was the last 33 year old to make the top 20? I think we would have to go back almost twenty years to Martina Navratilova. And she didn't have an injury break of 18+ months.

Truthfully, I don't think Pierce has more than a 10% chance at top twenty again and no chance whatsoever at achieving significant slam success. Could she win a tier III or IV? Very unlikely although I hesitate to say completely impossible.

All that said, I deeply respect Mary's efforts in trying to comeback. To me being a champion has always been about more than statistics and numbers and titles. It is about what is in your heart. The true champion fights and fights until they can't fight anymore. They refuse to give up. Look at how many years Gustavo Kuerten played on with a hip that made it impossible for him to play the way he used to. Kuerten was always fighting against a lost cause but that is what the greatest champions do. They fight lost causes. They aren't afraid of losing. They are warriors and their only goal is to compete to the very best of their abilities.

I remember how ridiculed Nicole Pratt was when in mid 2006 she proclaimed at the age of 33 and ranked way out of the top 100 that she was playing like a top 50 player. A year later she was indeed in the top 50. Most people don't think of Nicole Pratt as a champion but I do. For someone of her ability to get to the top 50 at 34 years old was an extraordinary achievement.

To me the real champions of the game don't throw in the towel at an early age like certain players I won't mention, they play as long as they are physically able to because they truely do love the game, and competing and giving it their very best in a one on one situation win or lose is what drives them above all else.

You say Mary would be crazy to come back a risk another injury. I can't entirely disagree with you. But the thing is, when you get down to it all the sports greatest competitors have been a little crazy. They are the ones who keep playing when everyone tells them they are too old, because that is what their heart and soul tells them to do.

When I see players like Younes El Aynaoui, Brenda Shultz-McCarthy, Date-Krumm, Tzipi Obziler, Jonas Bjorkman, Dick Norman, Rosana De Los Rios, Fabrice Santoro and Jill Craybas compete like they do at an age when they really should be lying on a beach resting on their laurels I am filled with awe. To me these are the champions of the game.

That Mary Pierce is fighting to comeback from such a serious injury at 33 years old says loud and clear, Mary Pierce is a champion. I truly hope she does comeback. I wouldn't expect her to comeback to top 20 form. Heck, if she came back to top 100 form that would be a remarkable achievement right there.

Plain and simple, if Mary Pierce wants to play tennis I hope she gets the chance. Truthfully, she has never been one of my favourite players previously but from here on in I will be rooting for her each and every match because no one deserves success more than the crazy warriors of the game.

karimcartoon
Jun 2nd, 2008, 07:40 AM
maybe 2009 will be her last year. I mean, its symbolic. After all she started in 1989.

aimee20
Jun 2nd, 2008, 07:45 AM
I would agree with a lot of this post but not all of it. Age is very important as you say. When was the last 33 year old to make the top 20? I think we would have to go back almost twenty years to Martina Navratilova. And she didn't have an injury break of 18+ months.

Truthfully, I don't think Pierce has more than a 10% chance at top twenty again and no chance whatsoever at achieving significant slam success. Could she win a tier III or IV? Very unlikely although I hesitate to say completely impossible.

All that said, I deeply respect Mary's efforts in trying to comeback. To me being a champion has always been about more than statistics and numbers and titles. It is about what is in your heart. The true champion fights and fights until they can't fight anymore. They refuse to give up. Look at how many years Gustavo Kuerten played on with a hip that made it impossible for him to play the way he used to. Kuerten was always fighting against a lost cause but that is what the greatest champions do. They fight lost causes. They aren't afraid of losing. They are warriors and their only goal is to compete to the very best of their abilities.

I remember how ridiculed Nicole Pratt was when in mid 2006 she proclaimed at the age of 33 and ranked way out of the top 100 that she was playing like a top 50 player. A year later she was indeed in the top 50. Most people don't think of Nicole Pratt as a champion but I do. For someone of her ability to get to the top 50 at 34 years old was an extraordinary achievement.

To me the real champions of the game don't throw in the towel at an early age like certain players I won't mention, they play as long as they are physically able to because they truely do love the game, and competing and giving it their very best in a one on one situation win or lose is what drives them above all else.

You say Mary would be crazy to come back a risk another injury. I can't entirely disagree with you. But the thing is, when you get down to it all the sports greatest competitors have been a little crazy. They are the ones who keep playing when everyone tells them they are too old, because that is what their heart and soul tells them to do.

When I see players like Younes El Aynaoui, Brenda Shultz-McCarthy, Date-Krumm, Tzipi Obziler, Jonas Bjorkman, Dick Norman, Rosana De Los Rios, Fabrice Santoro and Jill Craybas compete like they do at an age when they really should be lying on a beach resting on their laurels I am filled with awe. To me these are the champions of the game.

That Mary Pierce is fighting to comeback from such a serious injury at 33 years old says loud and clear, Mary Pierce is a champion. I truly hope she does comeback. I wouldn't expect her to comeback to top 20 form. Heck, if she came back to top 100 form that would be a remarkable achievement right there.

Plain and simple, if Mary Pierce wants to play tennis I hope she gets the chance. Truthfully, she has never been one of my favourite players previously but from here on in I will be rooting for her each and every match because no one deserves success more than the crazy warriors of the game.


For some reasons, your post bring tears to my eyes..

DOUBLEFIST
Jun 2nd, 2008, 07:08 PM
It does now seem that what once was a definate planned comeback is indeed now a possible planned comeback...

Agreed. Good observation. She's definitely eased off speaking definitively about her comeback. It's a shame really. I'd love to see Mary make one more deep run at a Major.

I would agree with a lot of this post but not all of it. Age is very important as you say. When was the last 33 year old to make the top 20? I think we would have to go back almost twenty years to Martina Navratilova. And she didn't have an injury break of 18+ months.

Truthfully, I don't think Pierce has more than a 10% chance at top twenty again and no chance whatsoever at achieving significant slam success. Could she win a tier III or IV? Very unlikely although I hesitate to say completely impossible.

All that said, I deeply respect Mary's efforts in trying to comeback. To me being a champion has always been about more than statistics and numbers and titles. It is about what is in your heart. The true champion fights and fights until they can't fight anymore. They refuse to give up. Look at how many years Gustavo Kuerten played on with a hip that made it impossible for him to play the way he used to. Kuerten was always fighting against a lost cause but that is what the greatest champions do. They fight lost causes. They aren't afraid of losing. They are warriors and their only goal is to compete to the very best of their abilities.

I remember how ridiculed Nicole Pratt was when in mid 2006 she proclaimed at the age of 33 and ranked way out of the top 100 that she was playing like a top 50 player. A year later she was indeed in the top 50. Most people don't think of Nicole Pratt as a champion but I do. For someone of her ability to get to the top 50 at 34 years old was an extraordinary achievement.

To me the real champions of the game don't throw in the towel at an early age like certain players I won't mention, they play as long as they are physically able to because they truely do love the game, and competing and giving it their very best in a one on one situation win or lose is what drives them above all else.

You say Mary would be crazy to come back a risk another injury. I can't entirely disagree with you. But the thing is, when you get down to it all the sports greatest competitors have been a little crazy. They are the ones who keep playing when everyone tells them they are too old, because that is what their heart and soul tells them to do.

When I see players like Younes El Aynaoui, Brenda Shultz-McCarthy, Date-Krumm, Tzipi Obziler, Jonas Bjorkman, Dick Norman, Rosana De Los Rios, Fabrice Santoro and Jill Craybas compete like they do at an age when they really should be lying on a beach resting on their laurels I am filled with awe. To me these are the champions of the game.

That Mary Pierce is fighting to comeback from such a serious injury at 33 years old says loud and clear, Mary Pierce is a champion. I truly hope she does comeback. I wouldn't expect her to comeback to top 20 form. Heck, if she came back to top 100 form that would be a remarkable achievement right there.

Plain and simple, if Mary Pierce wants to play tennis I hope she gets the chance. Truthfully, she has never been one of my favourite players previously but from here on in I will be rooting for her each and every match because no one deserves success more than the crazy warriors of the game.
:worship: BEAUTIFULLY STATED!