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The Best French Women Tennis Players in the Open Era
In the open era France has produced a long list of competitive women tennis players, along with some contenders, a few top tens, several Hall of Famers and only one French Open champion. Together they make up the best French women tennis players in the open era.
They are the early round opening acts to the main show, putting up a good fight throughout their career to let the tennis world know that they exist, while leaving behind the ever fading mark of their minor tennis achievements.
The field includes Wimbledon quarterfinalist Pascale Paradis, top 50 player Amelie Cocheteux, 16 year veteran Emilie Loit, world number one beater Julie Coin, six time semifinalist Anne-Gaelle Sidot, and former 37th ranked player in the world Alexandra Fusai.
They are good enough for an occasional upset but bad enough to almost always lose the match after.
She climbed to number 11 in the world and soon fell back to slightly above contender status.
Aravane comes equipped with a very big game to challenge and beat the top players, which she has done on many occasions. Her best ranking of 15 is sure to improve allowing her to someday join the main list of the best French women tennis players in the open era.
A very loud personality who made her presence known on and off the court, but unfortunately her game usually lagged behind her wannabe glamorous bark. Tatiana did make little squeaks with results like her quarterfinal appearance at the 2002 US Open, and reaching number 12 in the rankings in 2008. She was sadly diagnosed with a major illness and retired at the age of 21.
The Top Tens
She's the French version of Monica Seles, not in personality but in stroke production where they favored two hands on both sides. At 26 years old, Marion has already logged 11 years on tour, and is destined to perhaps secure the longest tenure of a French number one player. Her Wimbledon finals appearance, top ten ranking and on-going victories over the best players in the world, makes Marion one of the best French women tennis players in the open era.
The main characteristic of the best French women tennis players in the open era is longevity, and after a productive 15 year career, Nathalie fits that bill perfectly. She barely missed the top ten, reaching number 11 in 2006. A semifinal run at the Australian Open, four million dollars in prize money, capped a very respectable career.
She had an all-court game producing titles on all surfaces. Her three quarterfinal grand slam appearances, top ten ranking, 15 year career, ten year Fed cup run, and two time Olympian, firmly places Julie as one of the best French women tennis players in the open era.
A very classy lady with a long, prosperous 14-year career on the WTA tour. Sandrine's highlights include her top ten ranking, quarterfinalist at the Australian and US Open, three tournament titles, nearly $4 million in prize money and winning the decisive match to give France their first ever Fed Cup trophy in 1997.
The Hall of Famers
A late bloomer on the professional circuit, waiting until her 32nd birthday to reach the number three ranking. The following year she posted her best grand slam results, while playing in the finals of the US Open and the semifinals of Wimbledon. Her 18-year career included eight singles titles, and over six million dollars in prize money,
Mary was the original pouting tennis princess with the hair that always needed adjustment. She had quite a career, which includes two grand slam titles at Roland Garros and Australia, along with a US Open finals appearance. If Mary had held the number one ranking, she would have been the greatest French woman tennis player in the open era. But even with a title at Roland Garros in her resume, her tempestuous relationship with France, waters down her accomplishments in the eyes of her compatriots.
"She plays like a man." Well not exactly. Lindsey Davenport was wrong in her analysis of Amelie's game during her breakthrough tournament at the 1999 Australian Open. She made it to the finals losing to Martina Hingis who herself thought Amelie was "a half man". Inappropriate insults aside, Amelie always took the high road and let her game do the talking. Yes, it was a career that fell short of its full potential, mostly due to weak mental fortitude; still Amelie is the best French women tennis player in the open era. Her number one ranking, finals appearance in Australia and two grand slam wins seals her place in the annals of French tennis history.
France's open era tennis prowess started with pioneer Francoise Durr and has since remained a strong force in women's tennis, constantly producing new stars in every decade of the open era. Look for a new crop of players to emerge and continue the French women tennis legacy.
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