"This will be a good test," said Pam Shriver, a former president of the Women's Tennis Association and Navratilova's former doubles partner.

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With that in mind, I decided to make my sexuality clear.

"There will be people who I hope will respect me for doing it because it was my decision, and because there are many other players who are the same way as I am and say nothing and act as if nothing is going on." Mauresmo, 19, who is from Bornel, France, was asked if her decision might serve as an example to those players. "I hope so for them, because right now they are the ones who are having a hard time dealing with their situation.

I feel sorry for them." Mauresmo's resolve to talk about her sexuality will be tested most obviously by the corporate world.

The last high-profile tennis player to acknowledge her homosexuality, Martina Navratilova, never received sponsorship and endorsement contracts commensurate with her achievements before retiring in 1994.

She's half a man." Hingis later denied making the comment and explained that she had said only that Mauresmo played like a man, but neither Fournerie nor Mauresmo was convinced.

"I listened to the press conference, and she really said that 'she was half a man because she was with a woman,"' Fournerie said."Despite her young age, she has got responsibilities in light of her ranking.MELBOURNE— After her first Grand Slam final had ended in a 6-2, 6-3 loss to Martina Hingis, Amelie Mauresmo sat at a table outside the players' lounge and talked calmly and confidently about her decision to make her homosexuality public knowledge.Even before arriving at the Australian Open, Mauresmo said she had decided to talk about the topic, not because she wanted to become a symbol or the focus of attention, but because she did not want to dance around the subject throughout her career."When the media asks me what's going on in my life, I'm obliged to talk about this because it's part of my life," she said. It's clear that I'm not going to get unanimous support for this.Not everybody is going to be behind my back saying, 'Super.' But no matter what I do, there will always be people against me.