Back in 1999, Amelie Mauresmo made it to the finals of the Australian Open as a teenager and was called ‘half a man’ by her opponent, Martina Hingis.
It’s doubtful Hingis would have made such a remark had Mauresmo not come on to the scene as an openly gay player at a time when only Martina Navratilova and a few other female pros had done so.
Mauresmo may have lost to Hingis that year but the Frenchwoman went on to have a wonderful career that reached its peak in 2006 when she won both Wimbledon and the Australian Open.
She also had a stretch of nearly 10 months as the number one player in the world.
Mauresmo was the Olympic silver medalist at the 2004 Games in Athens and in 2005, she won the WTA Tour Championships. In all, she won 25 singles titles on the WTA Tour.
So it is no surprise that Mauresmo, it was announced this week, has been named as part of the Class of 2015 to be inducted in to the International Tennis Hall of Fame at a ceremony this summer.
She said in a statement: ‘I’m honored and humbled to be selected for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Tennis has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I extend my gratitude to the selection committee for recognizing my career in this way. It’s an extraordinary honor to have my career celebrated alongside the greatest champions of our sport, people who I have admired so greatly all my life.’
Mauresmo remains very much an active part of the pro tennis scene as the coach of Andy Murray, the British player who is currently ranked fourth in the world and reached the Australian Open final in January.