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Mauresmo rates Henin, Sharapova as biggest opponents
Latest Updated by 2006-09-20 10:41:32
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Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo of France said Monday that Belgian Justin Henin-Hardenne and Russian Maria Sharapova could threaten her world number one status this season.

Mauresmo, who in her last game was beaten by world number three Sharapova 6-0, 4-6, 6-0 at the U.S. Open semifinals on September 8, has held the top place for six months since March 20 this season.

Yet the Frenchwoman leads 3-1 in the last four meetings against the Russian former number one.

Second-ranked Henin, another former number one in women's tennis, is much luckier than Sharapova, with a 5-5 record against the Frenchwoman but lost depressingly both at Australian Open and Wimbledon finals this season.

"I think Justin has some advantage. I will play three more tournaments after her. And it is gonna be tough," Mauresmo said of the most threatening opponents this season. "It is a great season for three of us. If I do well on court, the No. 1 may come at the end of the year. But now I will focus on my game.

"It is hard to say my condition can last several months or several years. There are other excellent players coming up. It is probably the best season for me, I'm physically in good condition."

The tier-two China Open WTA tennis tournament will kick off its main draw on Monday, with Mauresmo, Russians Svetlana Kuznetsova, Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko and American Lindsay Davenport competing in and 500,000 US dollars on offer.

"I think people knew more about Davenport. She is a Grand Slam champion. And Kirelenko is a young player coming up. She is quite talented and has improved a lot. They are two dangerous players (at the China Open)."

Mauresmo, who has just been nominated for Sportswoman of the Year on September 12, impressed the world with her flamboyant performance in tennis during the last 12 months.

Among Mauresmo's stellar achievements during the aforementioned 12-month period are six WTA tour singles titles, the quickest million in women's tennis history and a return to the world number one on the rankings.

Editor: Donald

By: Source: China View website
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