Mary Pierce

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Mary Pierce
Mary Pierce.JPG
Country  France
Residence Black River, Mauritius.
Born (1975-01-15) 15 January 1975 (age 39)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Turned pro March 1989
Retired 2006
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money $9,793,119
Career record 511–237
Career titles 18 WTA, 2 ITF
Highest ranking No. 3 (30 January 1995)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1995)
French Open W (2000)
Wimbledon QF (1996, 2005)
US Open F (2005)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games QF (2004)
Career record 197–116
Career titles 10 WTA, 4 ITF
Highest ranking No. 3 (10 July 2000)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open F (2000)
French Open W (2000)
Wimbledon 3R (2002, 2004)
US Open SF (1999)
Mixed Doubles
Career titles 1
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open 1R (1993)
French Open QF (1990, 1992)
Wimbledon W (2005)
US Open SF (1995)
Team competitions
Fed Cup W (1997, 2003)
Hopman Cup F (1998)
Last updated on: 15 January 2007.

Mary Pierce (born 15 January 1975, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada) is a French-American retired tennis professional who played on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tour. Although born in Canada, she is a citizen of France, Canada, and the United States and played for France in team competitions and the Olympics.

Pierce won four Grand Slam titles, two in singles and two in doubles. She reached six Grand Slam singles finals, most recently at the US Open and French Open in 2005. Her Grand Slam singles titles came at the 1995 Australian Open and the 2000 French Open; as of 2013, Pierce is the last French player, male or female, to win the latter title.[1] She won the 2005 Wimbledon mixed doubles championship and has reached three Grand Slam doubles finals. She has won 18 WTA singles titles and 10 WTA doubles titles, including five Tier I singles events. She also has twice reached the final of the season-ending WTA Tour Championships, most recently in 2005.


Pierce was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to Yannick and Jim Pierce. Yannick is French and Jim is American, qualifying Mary for citizenship in all three countries. She was raised in the United States. She has represented France in international tennis competitions many times. She speaks English and French fluently. Mary was previously engaged to baseball player Roberto Alomar shortly in 1999 and then later to Air France pilot David Emmanuel Ades, but broke off both engagements.

Early career[edit]

Two years after being introduced to tennis, for girls aged 12 and under she was ranked no. 2 in the country.[2] In April 1989 at a WTA tournament in Hilton Head, she became the youngest American player (prior to Jennifer Capriati in 1990) to make her debut on the professional tour, aged 14 years and 2 months.[2] Due to her physicality and aggressive approach, her ballstriking was compared to that of Capriati,[2] and she quickly gained a reputation for being one of the all-time hardest hitters on the women's circuit.[citation needed] Her dad developed an interest in the sport after Mary commenced coaching,[2] and became her coach for many years.[citation needed]


In July 1993, Pierce successfully filed for a restraining order against her father, who was known to be verbally abusive to his daughter and her opponents. Following this split from her father, Pierce was coached by Nick Bollettieri, whose tennis academy she had briefly attended as a teenager in 1988. Her brother David was also Pierce's regular coach until 2006. German Aguero, founder of Future Tennis Champs, can also be attributed to the early success of Mary as he took her in for several years and coached her free of charge.

Pierce reached her first Grand Slam singles final at the 1994 French Open. She conceded just 10 games during her route to the final, which included a 6–2, 6–2 defeat of World No. 1 Steffi Graf in the semifinals. In the final, however, Pierce lost to Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in straight sets 6–4, 6–4.[3]

The following year, Pierce won her first Grand Slam title by defeating Sánchez-Vicario 6–3, 6–2 in the final of the 1995 Australian Open and lost just 30 games in the whole tournament. She reached her career-high singles ranking of World No. 3 that year. Pierce also won the Japan Open, defeating Sánchez Vicario in the final.

Pierce suffered a series of setbacks in 1996, including her split with Nick Bollettieri after failing to defend her title at the Australian Open. Aside from a runner-up finish at the Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, Florida and a semifinal finish in Hamburg, the highlight of the year for Pierce was her first appearance in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

Pierce was back in the Australian Open singles final in 1997, where she lost to Martina Hingis in straight sets. She also lost in that year's Chase Championships final to Jana Novotná. Pierce was a member of the French team that won the 1997 Fed Cup, and her only title that season was the Italian Open, defeating Conchita Martínez in the final. Pierce won the Comeback Player of the Year award for ending the year at World No. 7 after starting at World No. 21.

Pierce won four titles in 1998: the Open Gaz de France in Paris, the Bausch & Lomb Championships, the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, and the Fortis Championships Luxembourg. In addition, she was the runner-up at the Acura Classic in San Diego.

Pierce won her second Grand Slam singles title and her first Grand Slam doubles title at the 2000 French Open. In the singles final, she defeated Martínez to become the first French woman to claim the title since Françoise Dürr in 1967. And she partnered with Hingis to win the women's doubles crown. (The pair also were the runners-up at the Australian Open earlier that year.)

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


After a few quiet years on the tour, Pierce won her first title since the 2000 French Open at the Ordina Open on grass, in 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands in 2004. At the Olympics in Athens, Pierce defeated sixth-seeded Venus Williams in the third round 6–4, 6–4 before losing to top-seeded and eventual Gold-medallist Justine Henin of Belgium in the quarterfinals by the same score. At the US Open later in the year, Pierce defeated recent Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, before losing to eventual champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round.

Pierce then made it back into the top ranks of the women's game in 2005. At the French Open, she reached the singles final for the third time, where she lost to Henin in straight sets, losing 1–6, 1–6 in just over one hour. She then reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon for the first time since 1996. Pierce faced Venus Williams in that quarterfinal and lost the match after a second set tiebreak consisting of 22 points. Pierce also won the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon, partnering Mahesh Bhupathi. In August, Pierce won her first singles title of the year at the Acura Classic in San Diego, defeating Ai Sugiyama in the final.

Pierce then reached the final of the 2005 US Open. In the fourth round, she defeated Henin for the first time in her career 6–3, 6–4. In the quarterfinals, Pierce defeated third seeded Amélie Mauresmo 6–4, 6–1 to reach her first US Open semifinal. After the victory, Pierce remarked, "I'm 30 and I have been on the tour for 17 years and there are still firsts for me. That's pretty amazing." She reached the final by defeating Elena Dementieva 3–6, 6–2, 6–2 in the semifinals, taking a medical time-out after the first set. This caused controversy, many believing that this disrupted Dementieva's rhythm and concentration. In the final, she lost to Kim Clijsters in straight sets. After the US Open, Pierce won her second title of the year at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. In her quarterfinal match against Russian Elena Likhovtseva, Pierce came back from 0–6 in the third set tiebreak (6 match points down) and won 8 consecutive points to reach the semifinals. The final score of the match was 7–5, 4–6, 7–6.

The win in Moscow secured her spot at the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Los Angeles where the top eight singles players in the world competed for the winner's prize of one million dollars. In round-robin play with her assigned group of four players, she won all three matches: against Clijsters in three sets; Mauresmo in three sets; and Dementieva in straight sets. In the semifinals, Pierce beat top-ranked Lindsay Davenport 7–6, 7–6; however, Pierce lost the final to Mauresmo in just over three hours.

Pierce's year-end ranking was World No. 5 compared to her year-beginning ranking of World No. 29. This matched her career-best performances of 1994, 1995, and 1999, and she was less than 200 points behind Sharapova for World No. 4 and less than 300 points behind Mauresmo for World No. 3. Pierce's return to form in 2005 was one of the most surprising tennis stories of the year. Her successful performance in 2005 also encouraged the former World No. 1 player, Martina Hingis, to return to the game.


Pierce trained hard in the off-season in a bid to win major titles in 2006. Her first tournament of the year was the Australian Open. She defeated Nicole Pratt of Australia 6–1, 6–1 in the first round before losing to Iveta Benešová of the Czech Republic in the second round 6–3, 7–5. The loss denied her a third-round match with Martina Hingis. Pierce reached the final of her next tournament, the Gaz de France in Paris, where she lost to compatriot Amélie Mauresmo in straight sets. Pierce did not play again until August because of foot and groin injuries, withdrawing from the French Open and Wimbledon.

After spending six months away from the tour, Pierce began her comeback at the Acura Classic in San Diego, where she was the 2005 champion. She lost in the quarterfinals to Maria Sharapova 6–2, 6–3. In just her second tournament in over six months, Pierce played at the US Open. Pierce lost to Li Na, the 24th seed from China, in the third round 4–6, 6–0, 6–0. Pierce then lost in the first round of the next three tournaments she played. She was defeated at the Fortis Championships Luxembourg by Alona Bondarenko 6–3, 6–3, who went on to win the title. Jelena Janković defeated Pierce in Stuttgart 7–6, 6–3. And Katarina Srebotnik defeated Pierce at the Zurich Open 6–3, 7–5.

Knee injury[edit]

At the Generali Ladies Lnz tournament in October 2006, Pierce defeated Ai Sugiyama in the first round and was leading Vera Zvonareva 6–4, 6–5 in the second round when Pierce ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee. She had held three match points before the injury.

Pierce underwent a successful operation in December 2006 and missed all of 2007. She expected to return to the tour in 2008. At the end of 2008, she was still sidelined with no projected return date. However, she stated that she was still not ready to retire.[4]

Pierce made an appearance at the 2007 French Open as an avenue at Roland Garros was named in her honor – Allée Mary Pierce. She also helped with the social side to the French Open, taking part in the post-match ceremony after the women's final.

Pierce was named as a member of the French Olympic team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. On 21 July 2008, however, Pierce withdrew from the Olympics because of injury.[5]

Pierce and Ana Ivanovic[6] are the only two women to win both the championship and the wooden spoon at the Grand Slam tournaments. Pierce's wooden spoon came at the 2002 Australian Open, where she retired in the first round to Jill Craybas; she was the champion in 1995, making her the first (and so far only) player to win both the championship and wooden spoon at the very same Grand Slam tournament.[7]

As of October 2013, she lives on Mauritius where she teaches tennis.

Major finals[edit]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 6 (2 titles, 4 runner–ups)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1994 French Open Clay Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 6–4, 6–4
Winner 1995 Australian Open Hard Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 1997 Australian Open Hard Switzerland Martina Hingis 6–2, 6–2
Winner 2000 French Open Clay Spain Conchita Martínez 6–2, 7–5
Runner-up 2005 French Open Clay Belgium Justine Henin-Hardenne 6–1, 6–1
Runner-up 2005 US Open Hard Belgium Kim Clijsters 6–3, 6–1

Doubles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner–up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 2000 Australian Open Hard Switzerland Martina Hingis United States Lisa Raymond
Australia Rennae Stubbs
6–4, 5–7, 6–4
Winner 2000 French Open Clay Switzerland Martina Hingis Spain Virginia Ruano Pascual
Argentina Paola Suárez
6–2, 6–4

Mixed doubles: 1 (1 title, 0 runner–ups)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 2005 Wimbledon Grass India Mahesh Bhupathi Ukraine Tatiana Perebiynis
Australia Paul Hanley
6–4, 6–2

Year-End Championships finals[edit]

Singles: 2 (0 titles, runner–ups)[edit]

Outcome Year Location Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1997 New York City Carpet (I) Czech Republic Jana Novotná 7–6(7–4), 6–2, 6–3
Runner-up 2005 Los Angeles Hard (I) France Amélie Mauresmo 5–7, 7–6(7–3), 6–4

WTA Tour finals[edit]

Singles: 41 (18–23)[edit]

Winner — Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (2–4)
WTA Tour Championships (0–2)
Tier I (5–4)
Tier II (5–11)
Tier III (2–1)
Tier IV (1–1)
Tier V (3–0)
Titles by Surface
Hard (5–7)
Grass (1–0)
Clay (6–9)
Carpet (6–7)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. 8 July 1991 Italy Palermo Clay Italy Sandra Cecchini 6–0, 6–3
Winner 2. 17 February 1992 Italy Cesena Carpet (I) France Catherine Tanvier 6–1, 6–1
Winner 3. 6 July 1992 Italy Palermo Clay Netherlands Brenda Schultz 6–1, 6–7(3–7), 6–1
Winner 4. 26 October 1992 Puerto Rico San Juan Hard United States Gigi Fernández 6–1, 7–5
Runner-up 1. 5 July 1993 Italy Palermo Clay Czech Republic Radka Bobková 3–6, 2–6
Winner 5. 11 October 1993 Germany Filderstadt Hard (I) Belarus Natasha Zvereva 6–3, 6–3
Runner-up 2. 21 March 1994 United States Houston Clay Germany Sabine Hack 5–7, 4–6
Runner-up 3. 23 May 1994 France French Open Clay Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 4. 26 September 1994 Germany Leipzig Carpet (I) Czech Republic Jana Novotná 5–7, 1–6
Runner-up 5. 10 October 1994 Germany Filderstadt Hard (I) Germany Anke Huber 4–6, 2–6
Runner-up 6. 7 November 1994 United States Philadelphia Carpet (I) Germany Anke Huber 0–6, 7–6(7–4), 5–7
Winner 6. 16 January 1995 Australia Australian Open Hard Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 7. 13 February 1995 France Paris Carpet (I) Germany Steffi Graf 2–6, 2–6
Winner 7. 18 September 1995 Japan Tokyo Hard Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 6–3, 6–3
Runner-up 8. 2 October 1995 Switzerland Zürich Carpet (I) Croatia Iva Majoli 4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 9. 8 April 1996 United States Amelia Island Clay Romania Irina Spîrlea 7–6(9–7), 4–6, 3–6
Runner-up 10. 13 January 1997 Australia Australian Open Hard Switzerland Martina Hingis 2–6, 2–6
Runner-up 11. 7 April 1997 United States Amelia Island Clay United States Lindsay Davenport 2–6, 3–6
Winner 8. 5 May 1997 Italy Rome Clay Spain Conchita Martínez 6–4, 6–0
Runner-up 12. 12 May 1997 Germany Berlin Clay United States Mary Joe Fernández 4–6, 2–6
Runner-up 13. 17 November 1997 United States Chase Championships Carpet (I) Czech Republic Jana Novotná 6–7(4–7), 2–6, 3–6
Winner 9. 9 February 1998 France Paris Carpet (I) Belgium Dominique Van Roost 6–3, 7–5
Winner 10. 6 April 1998 United States Amelia Island Clay Spain Conchita Martínez 6–7(8–10), 6–0, 6–2
Runner-up 14. 3 August 1998 United States San Diego Hard United States Lindsay Davenport 3–6, 1–6
Winner 11. 19 October 1998 Russia Moscow Carpet (I) United States Monica Seles 7–6(7–2), 6–3
Winner 12. 26 October 1998 Luxembourg Luxembourg Carpet (I) Italy Silvia Farina 6–0, 2–0 ret.
Runner-up 15. 4 January 1999 Australia Gold Coast Hard Switzerland Patty Schnyder 6–4, 6–7(5–7), 2–6
Runner-up 16. 26 April 1999 Germany Hamburg Clay United States Venus Williams 0–6, 3–6
Runner-up 17. 3 May 1999 Italy Rome Clay United States Venus Williams 4–6, 2–6
Runner-up 18. 4 October 1999 Germany Filderstadt Hard (I) Switzerland Martina Hingis 4–6, 1–6
Winner 13. 25 October 1999 Austria Linz Carpet (I) France Sandrine Testud 7–6(7–2), 6–1
Winner 14. 17 April 2000 United States Hilton Head Island Clay Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 6–1, 6–0
Winner 15. 29 May 2000 France French Open Clay Spain Conchita Martínez 6–2, 7–5
Runner-up 19. 9 February 2004 France Paris Carpet (I) Belgium Kim Clijsters 2–6, 1–6
Winner 16. 14 June 2004 Netherlands 's-Hertogenbosch Grass Czech Republic Klára Koukalová 7–6(8–6), 6–2
Runner-up 20. 23 May 2005 France French Open Clay Belgium Justine Henin-Hardenne 1–6, 1–6
Winner 17. 1 August 2005 United States San Diego Hard Japan Ai Sugiyama 6–0, 6–3
Runner-up 21. 29 August 2005 United States US Open Hard Belgium Kim Clijsters 3–6, 1–6
Winner 18. 10 October 2005 Russia Moscow Carpet (I) Italy Francesca Schiavone 6–4, 6–3
Runner-up 22. 7 November 2005 United States Sony Ericsson Championships Hard (I) France Amélie Mauresmo 7–5, 6–7(3–7), 4–6
Runner-up 23. 6 February 2006 France Paris Carpet (I) France Amélie Mauresmo 1–6, 6–7(2–7)

Doubles: 16 (10–6)[edit]

Winner — Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (1–1)
WTA Tour Championships (0–0)
Tier I (3–0)
Tier II (5–3)
Tier III (0–1)
Tier IV (0–0)
Tier V (1–1)
Titles by Surface
Hard (3–2)
Grass (0–1)
Clay (4–1)
Carpet (3–2)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1. 26 November 1990 Brazil São Paulo Clay United States Luanne Spadea Argentina Bettina Fulco
Czechoslovakia Eva Švíglerová
5–7, 4–6
Winner 1. 8 July 1991 Italy Palermo Clay Czechoslovakia Petra Langrová Italy Laura Garrone
Argentina Mercedes Paz
6–3, 6–7(5–7), 6–3
Runner-up 2. 11 November 1992 United States Philadelphia Carpet (I) Spain Conchita Martínez United States Gigi Fernández
Belarus Natasha Zvereva
1–6, 3–6
Runner-up 3. 14 February 1994 France Paris Carpet (I) Hungary Andrea Temesvári Belgium Sabine Appelmans
Belgium Laurence Courtois
4–6, 4–6
Winner 2. 16 September 1996 Japan Tokyo Hard South Africa Amanda Coetzer South Korea Park Sung-hee
Chinese Taipei Wang Shi-ting
6–1, 7–6(7–5)
Winner 3. 28 April 1997 Germany Hamburg Clay Germany Anke Huber Romania Ruxandra Dragomir
Croatia Iva Majoli
2–6, 7–6(7–1), 6–2
Winner 4. 6 April 1998 United States Amelia Island Clay United States Sandra Cacic Austria Barbara Schett
Switzerland Patty Schnyder
7–6(5), 4–6, 7–6(7–5)
Winner 5. 19 October 1998 Russia Moscow Carpet (I) Belarus Natasha Zvereva United States Lisa Raymond
Australia Rennae Stubbs
6–3, 6–4
Winner 6. 16 August 1999 Canada Toronto Hard Czech Republic Jana Novotná Latvia Larisa Neiland
Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
6–3, 2–6, 6–3
Winner 7. 1 November 1999 Germany Leipzig Carpet (I) Latvia Larisa Neiland Russia Elena Likhovtseva
Japan Ai Sugiyama
6–4, 6–3
Runner-up 4. 10 January 2000 Australia Sydney Hard Switzerland Martina Hingis France Julie Halard-Decugis
Japan Ai Sugiyama
0–6, 3–6
Runner-up 5. 17 January 2000 Australia Australian Open Hard Switzerland Martina Hingis United States Lisa Raymond
Australia Rennae Stubbs
4–6, 7–5, 4–6
Winner 8. 31 January 2000 Japan Tokyo Carpet (I) Switzerland Martina Hingis France Alexandra Fusai
France Nathalie Tauziat
6–4, 6–1
Winner 9. 29 May 2000 France French Open Clay Switzerland Martina Hingis Spain Virginia Ruano Pascual
Argentina Paola Suárez
6–2, 6–4
Runner-up 6. 16 June 2003 Netherlands 's-Hertogenbosch Grass Russia Nadia Petrova Russia Elena Dementieva
Russia Lina Krasnoroutskaya
6–2, 3–6, 4–6
Winner 10. 4 August 2003 United States Los Angeles Hard Australia Rennae Stubbs Russia Elena Bovina
Belgium Els Callens
6–3, 6–3

Major tournament singles performance timeline[edit]


Won tournament; or reached Final; Semifinal; Quarter-final; Round 4, 3, 2, 1; competed at a Round Robin stage; lost in Qualification Round; absent from tournament event; played in a Davis Cup Zonal Group (with its number indication) or Play-off; won a bronze, silver (F or S) or gold medal at the Olympics; a downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament (Not a Masters Series); or a tournament that was Not Held in a given year.

To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated either at the conclusion of a tournament, or when the player's participation in the tournament has ended.

Tournament 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Career SR
Australian Open A A A A QF 4R W 2R F QF QF 4R 3R 1R 2R A 1R 2R 1 / 13
French Open A 2R 3R 4R 4R F 4R 3R 4R 2R 2R W A QF 1R 3R F A 1 / 15
Wimbledon A A A A A A 2R QF 4R 1R 4R 2R A 3R 4R 1R QF A 0 / 10
US Open A A 3R 4R 4R QF 3R A 4R 4R QF 4R A 1R 4R 4R F 3R 0 / 14
Grand Slam SR 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 3 1 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 4 1 / 4 0 / 1 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 2 2 / 52
WTA Tour Championships A A A A SF SF 4R A F QF QF A A A A A F A 0 / 7
Year End Ranking 243 107 26 13 12 5 5 20 7 7 5 7 130 52 33 29 5 79
  • A=did not participate in the tournament
  • SR=the ratio of the number of tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played

WTA Tour career earnings[edit]

Year Majors WTA wins Total wins Earnings ($) Money list rank
1991 0 1 1 94,582 53
1992 0 3 3 183,436 26
1993 0 1 1 347,360 19
1994 0 0 0 768,614 8
1995 1 1 2 698,838 7
1996 0 0 0 195,570 34
1997 0 1 1 881,639 7
1998 0 4 4 703,692 11
1999 0 1 1 996,442 6
2000 1 1 2 1,208,018 4
2001 0 0 0 No information
2002 0 0 0 185,095 59
2003 0 0 0 308,146 37
2004 0 1 1 344,481 35
2005 0 2 2 2,525,403 4
2006 0 0 0 163,228 89
Career 2 16 18 9,793,119 25

Record against other top players[edit]

As of 11 November 2010 Pierce's win-loss record against certain players who have been ranked World No. 10 or higher is as follows:[8] Players who have been ranked World No. 1 are in boldface.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]