Home Tennis Mary Pierce, the last French masterpiece at Roland Garros

Mary Pierce, the last French masterpiece at Roland Garros

by archysport

In 2000, six years after her final in Paris, the Frenchwoman Mary Pierce won at the French Open. Thanks to a complete and renewed tennis.

During her career, Mary Pierce totaled more than 500 singles victories. She won 18 WTA titles. She was 3rd in the world at her peak in January 1995. Pierce has played six Grand Slam finals and won two (including the Australian Open in 1995).

But his victory in 2000 Porte d’Auteuil inevitably captured the attention of the French public. The French had been waiting for this female success for 33 years. From Françoise Durr. The double winner of the Fed Cup (in 1997 and 2003) was calm against a Conchita Martinez passed in the final (6-2, 7-5).

« I will remember it all my life. It is my dream that has come true. It’s incredible to achieve this in Paris ” Pierce said in front of 15,000 delighted and won over spectators.

During this perfectly conducted tournament, power alone would not have been enough against Seles (with a winning point played between the legs) in the quarter-finals (4-6, 6-3, 6-4) and Hingis, the No. World 1 in the semi-finals (6-4, 5-7, 6-2). It took many other components to go to the end of this magnificent adventure.

Pierce is no longer the same already brilliant player who made it to the Roland-Garros final in 1994. That year, she was in steamroller mode until the final. She even ridicules Steffi Graff, the world No. 1 in the semi-finals (6-2, 6-2). But she then bowed to the experienced Sanchez, seeded No. 2 (6-4, 6-4).

« The variation in his game, one of the keys to his crowning at Roland-Garros »

Six years later, Pierce has progressed in all areas: physically, mentally, tactically, in lucidity and in experience. Viriginie Razzano, his 3rd round opponent (6-4, 6-0 defeat), remembers:

“I was in the junior table and I played against her in senior in the 3rd round. I even had it quite a bit, I was leading by 4 games to 0 in the first set. I was new to the circuit. The Federation gave me a wild card. I found myself in the big leagues… and facing Mary Pierce. For me, it wasn’t a gift (laughs). “

“She was very strong. I had tried to prepare as well as possible for this meeting. But, over the course of the match, I had committed a sin of youth. I had tried to do too much. I had made some junior mistakes by rushing a little too much.

These are the kinds of things that we correct over time. So I lost against the future winner. Then assisted to the final. I had been very happy for Mary. She took the ball early and her opponent was running around trying to nab her backhand as much as possible. It was amazing how hard Mary was hitting the ball. It was a Frenchwoman. And doing it at Roland-Garros made the feeling even stronger: for the Federation, for all the sponsors, partners and the French public… ”.

« It’s amazing to do this in Paris, my dream has come true. »

The consultant Jean-Paul Loth also remembers this magnificent feat :

“Mary was a very nice winner in 2000. She was in terms of average level stronger than our male representatives. When she was there, she really had a game that punctuated everything! She won two Grand Slam titles. She could even have won two or three more with the level of play she had. She was a very beautiful player, Mary! It was solid ”.

Florent Serra (ex-36th in the world) now a consultant is also under the spell:

“Mary stood out above all in terms of her power. Even when she was training with guys, on ranges she had a man strike (sic). I remember that final well when Conchita Martinez was trying to use her slice. Corn Mary really wasn’t embarrassed. This was reflected in the score.

It shone through its longevity. She knew how to reproduce her exploits. Pierce was like Mauresmo, Grand Slam winners. It was the best in this period in the world. What was great is that they were French and that we were able to have them long enough ”.

Mary Pierce, a super professional girl

Patrice Hagelauer knew Mary Pierce well.

“Before she ended her career I took care of her for the past few months. His success at Roland Garros can be explained. Already she was a very professional girl. We would meet at 10 a.m. She was there an hour before and had done her stretches. In training, from the first ball, she was at 100%.

She has always been incredible in her desire for success. She had such a quality of hitting the ball. On both sides ! She also had a very good first ball.

She had also worked on her physique a lot to be faster. Gradually, she brought variation to her game. This was one of the keys to her crowning glory at Roland Garros. She used cushioning more and more as well.

She knew how to develop her game. It was not a risk-taking, but a progression. She managed to surprise her opponents one after the other. At that time, however, the girls were playing incredibly well. Its longevity has also been magnificent. When a player remains at this point at the top level during Grand Slam tournaments, it is not trivial. She had that extra thing… ”.

Eleven years after her first final at Roland Garros, and five years after her title, Pierce, seeded n ° 21, is competing in a new Porte d’Auteuil final in 2005. She has once again achieved an exceptional career. She notably beats Zvonareva, world No. 10. Pierce then beats Schnyder (6-1, 16, 6-4) considered at the time as the No. 2 on the surface.

The match is epic. Pierce concludes with his 11th match point! Davenport and Likhovtseva then suffered the blows of the French. Only Justine Henin puts an end to Pierce’s forward march at the end of the tournament (6-1, 6-1). Hat Mary!

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.