French tennis star Amile Mauresmo was returned to the top of the world Tennis Association Rankings this week. She has been fighting to get back into the top spot since 2004. Now, replacing Belgian play Kim Clijsters as number 1, Ms Mauresmo has high hopes for a Summer of tennis success.
In spite of being knocked out of the Dubai Open by unseeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ms Mauresmo clawed her way to the top with a 300 point lead over her nearest rival.
Ms Mauresmo came out in 1999, after she won the Australian Open. The 19 year old jumped into the arms of her lover, 31 year old night club owner Silvie Bourdon., and attributed her success to coming to terms with her sexuality and finding love.
Since coming out, Ms Mauresmo has had to deal with some criticism. Martina Hingis called her “half man”, and Lindsey Davenport claimed that she played like a man. Ms Mauresmo dismissed these comments at the time as “a little stupid”, and went on to beat both of these players in major competitions. Earlier this year she played 16 matches without being beaten to clock up the points to reach world number one ranking.
Clearly she hasn’t let the gossiping affect her game.