The organizers of the Open GEF SUEZ paid tribute to Amelie Mauresmo during an emotional ceremony on Center Court of the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium. The former No. 1 officially announced her retirement on December 3, 2009.
Frenchies Julie Coin, Alizé Cornet, Nathalie Dechy stood along side Patty Schnyder, Francesca Schiavone, Tathiana Garbin, Alisa Kleybanova and Flavia Penetta while watching a video highlighting her many achievements. Elena Dementieva offered some special words for the 2-time Grand Slammer saying, "I feel sad today. Amélie, you're one of the very best, and you're leaving. Younger players will always remember 'the Mauresmo years.' And I'm not even sure that anyone can replace you here." You can hear the full speech in French here.
Franca, though, had the best line of the evening when she told Amelie, "You wrote part of tennis' history. You were my idol. So please, don't come back!" Nice.
I have to say it was great to see a certain someone who's been injured for what seems like FOREVAH make a special appearance during the ceremony:
LOVE the boots Tati - you still got it. But one of the most teary-eyed moments came when Amelie's mom, Françoise, walked onto the court carrying a bouquet of flowers for her now-retired daughter. *grabs kleenex*
A beautiful tribute to someone whose game and personality is sorely missed on the WTA tour. Here's some video from the ceremony. Enjoy!
[Photo(s): Reuters, Getty]