LGBTQ History

LGBT History Month profile: Championship tennis player Amélie Mauresmo

LGBT History Month profile: Championship tennis player Amélie Mauresmo

Amélie Mauresmo, Athlete
b. July 5, 1979

“Whether it’s in the right way or sometimes the wrong way, you learn about life and its lessons.”

Amélie Mauresmo

Amélie Mauresmo was the World No. 1 tennis player. She won 25 career titles including two Grand Slams. In 2004, she received an Olympic Silver medal in tennis singles.

Mauresmo was born in Laye, France, where she began playing tennis at age 4. Her talent on the court was quickly recognized, and her parents enrolled her in private lessons. At 17, she was named Junior World Champion after winning both the French Open and Wimbledon.

In 1999, two years into her professional career, Mauresmo came out during the Australian Open. She publicly embraced her girlfriend after defeating the World No. 1 player, Lindsay Davenport. Mauresmo credited her on-court success to coming to terms with her sexuality. She is the first tennis player to come out without losing any major sponsors.

Mauresmo is one of only a few tennis players to reach World No. 1 ranking before winning a Grand Slam title. Known for her powerful one-handed backhand and net play, she has defeated top-ranked players such as Venus and Serena Williams, Martina Hingis, and Justine Henin. In 2003, she helped France capture the Fed Cup.

In 2007, the president of France presented Mauresmo with the Legion of Honor. Two years later, she announced her retirement.

Since retiring, Mauresmo has coached other professional tennis players. In 2009, she became ambassador of the Sport for Life Foundation, a Swiss-based organization dedicated to supporting young athletes. “I want to share the experiences I’ve gathered along my career with young people so they cannot walk into traps,” she says. “Respect for values is the foundation for success!”

Mauresmo resides in Geneva, Switzerland.

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