Mary Pierce Bio

Mary Pierce was born on 15th of January 1975, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to an American father and a French mother. Soon after her birth her parents, Jim and Yannick (Adjani) Pierce, married. The following year Pierce’s brother, David, was born. The family moved to Florida, where her father, an ex-Marine with a criminal record, made and sold jewelry.

In his first attempt at the classic middle-class American life, Pierce’s father joined the local country club and took up golf, and Pierce was persuaded to join the club’s junior tennis clinic. After just a couple of sessions of watching, the already athletic ten-year-old Pierce, the way she used to strike the ball, her father’s attention turned from golf to his daughter’s future in tennis. Just two weeks after picking up a racket for the first time, Pierce, who also participated in gymnastics and ballet as a child, defeated the twentieth ranked local player in a 12-and-under division tournament. By the age of 12, Pierce was the No. 2 player in the United States in the 12-and-under division. Although he had no experience in tennis, Pierce’s father studied the game until he was ready to take over as his daughter’s coach.

As quickly as Pierce was earning a reputation for her hard-hitting forehand, her father was becoming infamous for his abusive and berating behavior. He bragged about how hard he worked his daughter, telling The Sporting News in 1993, Although Pierce, who spoke little French, had difficulty adjusting to the move, her tennis game continued to improve. She won her first tournament in Italy in 1991, but winning only seemed to fuel her father’s fanatical behavior. When Pierce, playing for France in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, lost in the second round, her father screamed at her so much that she ran to the locker room.

Pierce’s break from her father proved to be a turning point in her career. In 1994 she reached the quarter finals of the U.S. Open and the finals of the French Open. In 1995 she won her first Grand Slam tournament by beating Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, 6-3, 6-2, in the Australian Open. Feeling the pressure from fans to continue winning, Pierce’s game slumped for the remainder of the year and into 1996. By 1997 she was back on track, reaching the finals of Australian Open and the fourth round in the U.S. Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon. In 1998 she was once again in the top ten, with a No. 6 ranking.

In 2001 Pierce forged a partial reconciliation with her father. He sporadically helped her train, but Pierce has yet to ask the WTC to lift the ban on her father’s attendance courtside. Pierce has refused to answer questions regarding her father, maintaining that their relationship is a private matter. In November 2001, Pierce ended her engagement to professional baseball player, Roberto Alomar. She lives in Sarasota, Florida, with her two long-haired Chihuahuas, Gilbert and Ginger. Over the course of her dramatic and often melodramatic career, Pierce has earned more than $6 million on the court.

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