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Mauresmo's prayers go unanswered
June 02, 2007 21:55 IST
Amelie Mauresmo arrived at Roland Garros knowing that only divine intervention would bring her to a much cherished French Open title this year.
But on Saturday, Lucie Safarova ensured that Mauresmo's prayers went unanswered by humbling her 6-3, 7-6 in the third round.
"There was no miracle today," lamented Mauresmo, who has a tattoo of an angel on her left shoulder.
Paris has never been a happy hunting ground for the French favourite. The slow surface does not suit her attacking style of play and she has now had 13 failed attempts at breaking her barren run here.
With time running out for the 27-year-old, her most notable achievement remains two quarter-final appearances in 2003 and 2004.
By contrast she has reached at least the semi-finals at the three other majors -- gaining her Grand Slam breakthrough at the Australian Open in 2006 and doubling her Grand Slam tally by triumphing at Wimbledon five months later.
This year she had already warned fans not to expect much from her in Paris as she is on a comeback trail after a two-month layoff due to appendicitis.
Hence Mauresmo, who also lost to Safarova of the Czech Republic in the fourth round at Melbourne Park in January, has found it easier to stomach her downfall in Paris.
"I've been struggling for weeks now and, as I said before coming here, I didn't really know what to expect," said Mauresmo, who took an injury time out midway through the first set to get her right thigh strapped.
"I really didn't have a goal so was taking it match by match. It's a little bit sad to say but I didn't really expect great things to happen.
"Clay is physically very difficult to play on, especially when you are coming back from surgery. Sliding on this surface is not easy, especially on my weak points that are the adductors."
With her French Open aspirations shelved for another year, Mauresmo hoped the grasscourt season would offer her a much needed pick-me-up.
"I hope I'll be almost at 100 percent for Wimbledon," said Mauresmo, who plans to show up as Eastbourne before beginning her title defence in southwest London.
The French Open 2007 coverage