Amelie Mauresmo, whose French Open career has been characterised by a series of stunning meltdowns in front of a demanding and impatient Paris crowd, believes she can still conquer Roland Garros.
The 28-year-old Frenchwoman has been world number one, counts the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles in her 24-trophy collection and has amassed 17 million dollars in prize money.
But every May and June, when the French Open comes around, that impressive CV has looked more like a forged document as Mauresmo's brittle temperament has, time after time, been stripped bare.
Now playing in her 14th Roland Garros, she has still to get beyond the quarter-finals. She endured a few characteristic wobbles on Tuesday in her 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 first round win over Ukraine's Olga Savchuk, but she insists that with a modest seeding of 22 next to her name, the pressure is off.
"I'm an outsider so I have less personal expectations, that's for sure," said Mauresmo.
Sugiyama still raring to go
Ai Sugiyama may have matched the all-time record for consecutive Grand Slam appearances but the Japanese veteran insists she is still as excited to be playing as during her first major nearly 15 years ago. “56 in a row, it’s hard to believe!" she said. "Even now I'm really excited to be here."