Mary Pierce hails exceptional qualities of Federer and Serena

Pierce, who won Australian Open (1995) and French Open (2000), said that Federer has an array of shots which can’t be taught.

Apart from two singles majors, Mary Pierce (above) also won women’s doubles French Open with Martina Hingis (2000) and mixed doubles at Wimbledon with India’s Mahesh Bhupathi (2005).   -  Special Arrangement

Modern-time great Roger Federer has an exceptional mind for game’s analysis and Serena Williams is born with a burning desire to succeed, and that sets them apart from other players, says two-time singles Grand Slam winner Mary Pierce. Pierce, who won Australian Open (1995) and French Open (2000), said that Federer has an array of shots which can’t be taught.

“What I think of Roger is that the shots he plays cannot be taught by anyone. It is almost like he is born to do that,” Mary, who is now retired, said on the sidelines of the TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2018, here.

“Why he is so good is that the love and passion he has for tennis. He practises hours together. Also, he passionately watches any match if he happens to see it on television or in the stadium. His coach tells me he has not seen any player talking so much about tennis and always analysing,” she added.

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Apart from two singles majors, Pierce also won women’s doubles French Open with Martina Hingis (2000) and mixed doubles at Wimbledon with India’s Mahesh Bhupathi (2005).

On Serena Williams, Mary said that the American star is an “incredible competitor”. “I was so impressed with her in Singapore tournament. I was commentating and watching her from a nearby stand. It was like such a deep burning desire that she had to win every point. I have never seen that trait in any player that I ever watched,” she added. Serena is returning to action after giving birth to a baby girl.

About her mixed doubles partner Bhupathi, Mary said that she always dreamt of playing with him, for he was a very successful doubles and mixed doubles player in the world.

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“I have always seen Mahesh playing with amazing success. Mahesh was much much successful than me in doubles and mixed doubles. Somebody like me dreamt of playing with Mahesh. It did not work out for a long time, but I said yes when someone suggested me to play with Mahesh in Wimbledon,” she said.

Mary said that it was an honour for her to play with Mahesh because she learnt a lot from him. “Playing with him was amazing. It was so much fun. He seems to be very quiet. He is nice and funny and I learnt a lot on the court - about how to approach the game at important points and many other tricks of the sport,” she said.

Talking with Sania Mirza, Mary said, “I practised with her before the matches in a Hyderabad tournament and I said to myself, ‘Jesus, this girl can hit the ball so hard.’ If she could hit the ball consistently, she is going to be very hard to beat and obviously, she went on to be number one in doubles.”