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Mary Pierce

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Mary Pierce

Mary Pierce (born January 15 1975, in Montreal, Canada) is a professional tennis player. She has appeared in five Grand Slam singles finals during her career – winning two of them – and also claimed one Grand Slam doubles title.

Pirece was born in Montreal while her French mother and American father were on a trip to the city, but she has never lived in Canada. She was raised in the United States and lives in Bradenton, Florida, but also has French citizenship and has represented France in international tennis competitions.

Pierce was introduced to tennis at the age of 10 by her father Jim Pierce. Just two years later, she won the US national 12-and-under junior title. In 1989, she became the youngest American player to make her debut on the professional tour, aged 14 years and 2 months. (This record was boken the following year by Jennifer Capriati.)

During her first few years on the tour, Pierce was known more for the behaviour of her father than her performances on court. Jim Pierce, who also coached Mary, often shouted abuse at her opponents during matches. On one occassion when he was stitting in the stands, he famously screamed: "Mary, kill the bitch!" He was also reportedly often verbally and physically abusive to Mary during practice sessions and after defeats. Jim Pierce was ejected from the French Open in 1993 after he punched a spectator, following which he was banned from all Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Tour events until 1998. The incident also prompted the WTA to pass a new rule (commonly referred to as the "Jim Pierce Rule") which prohibits abusive conduct on the part of players, coaches and relatives. Mary dropped her father as her coach in 1993 and took out a restraining order against him. A few weeks later, he got into a fight with her bodyguard at a hotel where she was staying. He then sued her claiming that he had been promised 25% of her earnings as a tennis player, and she paid him US$500,000 to drop the suit and leave her alone. She withdrew from Wimbledon in 1994 after a British tabloid newspaper threatened to smuggle her father into the grounds.

In 1994, Pierce reached her first Grand Slam final at the French Open in record-breaking style. She became first player to reach championship's fourth round while dropping only two games. She conceded just 10 games during her route to the final, which included a 6-2, 6-2 thrashing of World No. 1 Steffi Graf in the semi-finals. In the final she lost 6-4, 6-4 to Arantxa Snchez Vicario.

In 1995, Pierce won her first Grand Slam title by beating Snchez Vicario 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the Australian Open. She reached her career-high singles ranking of World No. 3 that year.

In 1997, Pierce was back in the Australian Open singles final, where she lost 6-2, 6-2 to Martina Hingis. She also lost in that year's WTA Tour Championships final to Jana Novotn. Pierce was a member of the French team which won the 1997 Fed Cup.

Pierce won her second Grand Slam singles title and her first Grand Slam doubles title at the French Open in 2000. In the singles final, she defeated Conchita Martnez 6-2, 7-5 to become the first Frenchwoman to claim the title since Francoise Durr in 1967. And she partnered Martina Hingis to win the women's doubles crown (the pair had also finished runners-up at the Australian Open earlier that year).

Pierce helped France win the Fed Cup for a second time in 2003.

In 2004, Pierce won her first title since the 2000 French Open at 's-Hertogenbosch, to bring her career total to 16 singles titles.

In 2005, Pierce reached the French Open singles final for a third time, where she lost 6-1, 6-1 to Justine Henin-Hardenne.

Pierce was engaged for a period to former Major League Baseball player Roberto Alomar. However the two stars are no longer together. Following her split from her father in 1993, Pierce was coached by Nick Bollettieri, whose tennis academy she had briefly attended as a teenager in 1988. Her brother David is currently her regular coach. She has also recently become reconciled with father Jim, and occassionally does practice sessions with him.


Contents

Grand Slam finals

Wins (2)

Year     Championship            Opponent in Final          Score in Final
1995     Australian Open         Arantxa Snchez Vicario    6-3, 6-2
2000     French Open             Conchita Martnez          6-2, 7-5

Runner-ups (3)

Year     Championship            Opponent in Final          Score in Final
1994     French Open             Arantxa Snchez Vicario    6-4, 6-4
1997     Australian Open         Martina Hingis             6-2, 6-2
2005     French Open             Justine Henin-Hardenne     6-1, 6-1

External links

de:Mary Pierce fr:Mary Pierce it:Mary Pierce ja:マリー・ピエルス nl:Mary Pierce no:Mary Pierce pl:Mary Pierce

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