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Saturday 5 January 2002

Amelie Mauresmo planned an early-morning trek to Bondi Beach yesterday to watch the sunrise across the Pacific Ocean.

It's an apt metaphor for the 22-year-old Frenchwoman who said she wanted to rise to the top of women's tennis and finish 2002 with her first grand slam win.

"I want to be No.1. It's very tough to say to yourself you want to be No.1, but now I can say it," she said.

Next week, ninth-ranked Mauresmo returns to the scene of her most significant tournament win, the 2000 Sydney International at Homebush, where she defeated three of the world's top-five ranked players, including consecutive wins over Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport.

"It was a huge tournament for me," she said. "I wasn't expecting it at all ... it proved to me I was able to play at a top level."

Mauresmo's game is unique to the tour. Not just for that one-handed backhand, but for an aggressive all-round game that combines power with a variety of spin that takes the ball out of her opponent's strike-zone.

"My versatility is a huge weapon for me. The other girls hit with a lot of power, of course, but there's not a lot of variety in the game," she said.

"I think when I'm able to mix it up, hitting balls at different heights, I can be successful. I'm trying to use it as much as I can."

Mauresmo stands out in this year's field, dominated by power-hitters, that boasts six of the top-10 women in the world and includes three other past champions.

After Justine and now Mauresmo, who will be the next on the list of those girls who wanna be #1?

Well...take a ticket Amelie, Venus is the next "new"#1!!!
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
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