Q & A

On The Line with Mary Pierce

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

The Straits Times speaks to the people who work away from centre court and behind the scenes to find out the quirky details of their jobs.

Today: Former tennis player Mary Pierce, 40. The two-time Grand Slam champion is in Singapore to support and promote the WTA Finals.

Q What's the most interesting thing you've done since retirement?

A I organised a series of International Tennis Federation tournaments in the Indian Ocean this June. It took place over four weeks in Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion Island. It was the first time I had organised a tournament, it was a lot of fun and I'm going to do it again next year.

Q Do you travel more or less now?

A I travelled a lot as a player and I'm still travelling a lot now because I was coaching. When you're with kids and going to tournaments, you're also travelling a lot.

Q Favourite part about your role now?

A It's a privilege to have had the career that I had. I accomplished my dream to win the French Open (while) playing for France... I'm so blessed and grateful just to be able to make an impact on other people's lives, touch their hearts and inspire them.

Q What do you miss most about the game?

A The competing, but I don't miss the gruelling, painful training sessions.

Q How often do people recognise you on the streets?

A People still do, it just depends on where I am, what I'm doing and how I'm dressed. People say to me: 'Your hair is darker now - you were really blonde!'

Q What sport are you also doing regularly now?

A Pilates - I love it. I started doing it three years ago to try to rehab my knee and body. I wish I'd known about it during my career - I'm sure I would've had fewer injuries and been stronger.

Q Favourite tournament? And you can't say Roland Garros.

A There was this tournament in San Diego at the La Costa Resort. That was a beautiful tournament. We stayed at the resort, played at the resort. It was definitely picturesque.

Q Who do you like watching now and why?

A I always love watching Serena (Williams) because she's inspiring, at her age, to see her hunger and how she fights after so much she's already accomplished.

Q How often do you play tennis now?

A I hurt my back in December, so I haven't played since then. But I hope to pick up my racket again in six months.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2015, with the headline 'On The Line with Mary Pierce'. Print Edition | Subscribe