2006 WTA Tour
The 2006 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour was the 34th season since the founding of the Women's Tennis Association. It commenced on January 2, 2006, and concluded on November 12, 2006 after 61 events.
Justine Henin-Hardenne came out as the winner in a historic three-way battle for the No. 1 ranking at the season-ending WTA Tour Championships, beating out Sharapova and Mauresmo. The Belgian successfully defended her French Open title for her fifth Grand Slam title, and became the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1993 to reach the finals of all Grand Slams and the WTA Tour Championships. Maria Sharapova won her second Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open, to add to her Wimbledon trophy from 2004. Amélie Mauresmo won her maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open after a controversial retirement from Henin-Hardenne in the final. However, she later backed it up by winning a rematch with Henin-Hardenne in the Wimbledon final. She was the number one player in the world from March until the end of the season.
Martina Hingis also made a successful return to the Tour, beginning her comeback at the Gold Coast event in January. She finished the season at No. 6 in the world and one the Tier I title at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.
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“Left Washington, September 6, on a tour through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia.... Absent nineteen days. Received every where heartily. The country is again one and united! I am very happy to be able to feel that the course taken has turned out so well.”
—Rutherford Birchard Hayes (18221893)