For Pride month, we’ve dedicated each day of June to an individual athlete or coach whose shining moment changed LGBTQ sports.
In 1999, Amelie Mauresmo made a surprise appearance in the Australian Open final, having never before made it to a WTA hardcourt final. People took notice, wondering what the young Frenchwoman had in store for the tour.
Mauresmo made it even more powerful, coming out to the press after beating Lindsay Davenport earlier in the tournament, saying part of her success was due to accepting her sexuality and finding love.
Yet over the next seven years, Mauresmo never made it back to a Grand Slam final and some wondered if she simply didn’t have what it took to win titles on the big stage, watching her lost in four semifinals, three of them at Wimbledon.
She had even reached the world’s No. 1 ranking and finished three consecutive seasons ranked in the top four.
That all changed in 2006 when she beat Justin Henin in the Australian Open final. She won when Henin had to retire in the second set, but Mauresmo was already up, 6-1, 2-0. Still, some people still didn’t want to give Mauresmo all the credit she was due.
That debate was ended later that year when Mauresmo beat Henin in the Wimbledon final, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. This time there was no retirement from the match, but rather a thrilling comeback win by Mauresmo.
That was the last Grand Slam final she would appear in, retiring in 2009.
Since then she has been a successful coach for various players, including Andy Murray.
She was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2015.
We’ll have another Moment of Pride tomorrow and every day in June.