Mauresmo sets her sights on world domination

"My goal is to reach number one. Whether it's going to happen in a month, a year, or five years, I don't know. Everyone has a goal in life and in my tennis life, that's mine," says Amelie Mauresmo. — Pic. AFP-

AMELIE MAURESMO, the 23-year-old Frenchwoman, believes that her increasing maturity and newfound commitment to attacking the net could eventually lead her past the Williams sisters.

AMELIE MAURESMO, the 23-year-old Frenchwoman, believes that her increasing maturity and newfound commitment to attacking the net could eventually lead her past the Williams sisters.

It's an ambitious target considering the success of Serena and Venus, who have notched up seven victories between them in the last nine Grand Slams.

"My goal is to reach number one," Mauresmo said. "Whether it's going to happen in a month, a year, or five years, I don't know. Everyone has a goal in life and in my tennis life, that's mine."

The eighth-ranked Frenchwoman reached both the Wimbledon and U.S. Open semi-finals last year, but was halted by a Williams on each occasion.

At the All-England Club she was brushed aside by Serena in straight sets, and in New York, Venus outlasted her in a tough three-setter.

After successfully recovering from off-season knee surgery, the muscular all-court player is fresh, both physically and mentally.

Mauresmo also admitted that she was confident she would not be staring up at the top forever.

"After I lost to Serena at Wimbledon I was so frustrated that I said I'd only play for the number three spot," Mauresmo said.

"But now I'm thinking nothing is forever. There's going to be a time that I'm going to improve a little and Serena's going to go down a little. You can't be 100 per cent all the time."

The Frenchwoman leapt into the limelight when, as a virtual unknown, she stunned Lindsay Davenport in the semi-finals of the 1999 Australian Open before losing to Martina Hingis in the final.

Although she has racked up eight titles and a number of wins over elite players since then, Mauresmo did not repeat her early Grand Slam success until last year.

Some of that had to do with a back injury, which kept her out of play for large portions of 2000 and 2001, and some of it had to do with her immaturity.