Paul-Henri Mathieu bigraphy, stories - French tennis player

Paul-Henri Mathieu : biography

1982-1-12 -

Paul-Henri Mathieu (born 12 January 1982 in Strasbourg, France) is a French tennis player. His career-high singles ranking is World No. 12.

Tennis career

Mathieu was born in Strasbourg, France. He first began playing tennis at age 3, with his older brother Pierre-Yves. Between 1997 and 2000 he trained at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida.


As a junior Mathieu posted a singles record of 42–15 (and 34–12 in doubles), reaching as high as No. 6 in the world in January 2000 (and No. 19 in doubles the same month).

Mathieu won the Boys' Singles title at the 2000 French Open (defeating Tommy Robredo in the final), and made his ATP tour debut that July in Kitzbühel.


2002 was Mathieu's breakthrough year. He made the 4th round of the French Open, losing to Andre Agassi in 5 sets, despite having a 2 set lead. Later on in the year, he confirmed his potential by winning back to back tournaments in Moscow and Lyon. On 14 October he became world no. 36 and his progress won him the ATP Newcomer of the Year award for 2002. He also nearly won the Davis Cup in 2002 with the French Davis Cup team, but lost the deciding rubber of the final to Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, once more after relinquishing a 2 set advantage.


In 2005, he achieved his best ever result in an ATP Masters Series event, knocking out Andy Roddick on his way to the semi-finals at Montreal. He had a record of 2–2 in the 4 Davis Cup matches he played that year. He won both his matches against the Swedish opponents Thomas Johansson and Joachim Johansson, but lost to Russia's Nikolay Davydenko and Igor Andreev in the quarter final tie.


2006 saw him equal his best result at a Grand Slam tournament by reaching the 4th round of the Australian Open. In May a career-high ranking of 32 was attained. In the 3rd round of the French Open, he lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in a gruelling encounter which lasted 4 hours and 53 minutes, but amazingly only saw 42 games played (Nadal won the match 5–7, 6–4, 6–4, 6–4, with the first set lasting 93 minutes and each of the following sets longer than an hour). Many tennis players and commentators, including two-time French Open runner-up Àlex Corretja, hailed it as a classic.

Mathieu is known for being able to hit heavy groundstrokes from both wings and his topspin forehand is probably his biggest weapon. A relatively popular, well-liked player despite his inconsistent career results, Mathieu is often affectionately known by his initials, "PHM". His favourite surfaces are clay and hard, and he admired Boris Becker while growing up. His brother Pierre-Yves is now a tennis coach in Strasbourg.


2007 started poorly for Mathieu when he injured himself at the Australian Open during a 1st round encounter against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco and was forced to retire from the match. This was unfortunate as Mathieu was up 2 sets and 3–0 in the 3rd set tiebreak at the time. After returning from his injury, he reached the 4th round in Miami, beating then world number 5 Fernando González of Chile along the way, before bowing out to Andy Murray in 3 sets.

On 29 April 2007, Mathieu won his 3rd career title, the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca defeating Álbert Montañés 6–1, 6–1. At Wimbledon, he reached round 4 for the first time, defeating Radek Štěpánek, No. 17 seed (15th-ranked) David Ferrer, and 15th seed (12th-ranked) Ivan Ljubičić. He attained a career high ranking of 28 in singles after this result, entering the world's top 30 for the first time. The week after Wimbledon, he beat Italian Andreas Seppi 6–7, 6–3, 7–5 in a difficult final to claim his fourth ATP Tour title in Gstaad, Switzerland. He rose to No. 23 in the rankings, making his top 25 breakthrough.

At the Montreal Masters, he produced one of the comebacks of the season to beat 15th seed Guillermo Cañas. Trailing 4–6, 0–4, he managed to up his level of play to win 13 of the next 14 games and record a win by the score of 4–6, 7–5, 6–0. He followed that up with a win over Mario Ančić in round 2. In round 3, he ran into Rafael Nadal, and actually won the first set 6–3 before losing the next two 6–3, 6–2.

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