This time, Amelie Mauresmo didn't lose her nerve. She held it.
Mauresmo defied her reputation for getting tight and crumbling in big matches, rallying from a set down and holding firm down the stretch to beat Justine Henin-Hardenne, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 Saturday to win the Wimbledon title for her second Grand Slam championship.
"I don't want anyone to talk about my nerves anymore," she said.
Mauresmo became the first French women's singles champion at Wimbledon since Suzanne Lenglen won the last of her six titles in 1925.
The top-seeded Mauresmo also stopped No. 3 Henin-Hardenne from completing a career Grand Slam. The Belgian was trying to win the only major title missing from her collection.
It was the second Grand Slam final between the two players this year and this time there was an outright winner. Henin-Hardenne retired at 6-1, 2-0 down at the Australian Open in January, handing Mauresmo her first major title.
After Henin-Hardenne hit a forehand into the net on the first match point, Mauresmo dropped to her knees on the grass and buried her face in her hands. After the handshake at the net, she climbed into the stands and shared a long, tearful hug with her coach, Loic Courteau.
Mauresmo received the winner's trophy the Venus Rosewater Dish from the Duke of Kent and held it high in the air as she received a rousing ovation from the Centre Court crowd.
She stared closely at the trophy to see her name engraved on the silver salver alongside those of so many champions, including Lenglen.
"I'm proud, she was an amazing champion," Mauresmo said. "Now that I see all the names on the trophy, and my name is no there wow! That's not so bad."
French President Jacques Chirac sent her a note of congratulations, reports AP.