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Old Oct 29th, 2013, 12:17 PM   #110
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Re: FWTT Year End Championships [2013]



Harper Johnson/Elise Mesane Make It Official


Istanbul, Turkey - In a move that had apparently been in the works for months, American Harper Johnson this morning confirmed an announcement from French superstar Elise Mesane that the two will indeed be teaming up for doubles in the 2014 season.

"I'm very happy to make it official," said Johnson in a brief pause to speak to the press after a practice session off site. "Elise and I have always been friends. She's such a huge personality, and such an incredibly talented player. But, when Siri (Cornetsson) initially announced that she would be retiring at the end of this year, I started thinking about a long term plan for my own career. And, luckily, Elise was in a similar place. So, the timing was perfect."

Mesane made her own announcement about the new partnership one day earlier, during one of her many - always quotable - media appearances. According to the Frenchwoman, who currently sits atop the FWTT singles rankings and within the world's top 5 doubles players, she shares Johnson's excitement for the coming year.

Interestingly, Johnson's announcement comes on the same day that she and Cornetsson advanced to their fourth consecutive FWTT Championship match, having hoisted the trophy last year. The duo upended their longtime nemeses, Ruflina Taliamanosoko and fellow American Jennifer Casanova, in yet another grueling battle between the two pairs. A battle that is all but assured to be the final contest between the two teams.

With that in mind, Johnson says she's staying focused on the present.

"We have one more match," said Johnson. "And, for Siri and I, it's pretty much the most important one of our entire career in a lot of ways. Having gotten the reputation of always being the runner up, coming through with a win - going out on top - would be such a beautiful way to end things. It's been such a strange, up and down year for us. But, we really came together here at the end of the year and finished strong. To win here, for the second year in a row, would be a wonderful goodbye. It's very hard, though. I'm going to miss being out there with Siri week in and week out. But, right now, we have one more match. And, I want to go out with a win."
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