Ana Ivanovic announces retirement from tennis at age of 29

Ana Ivanovic, the former world No1 and French Open winner, has announced her retirement from tennis at the age of 29

Ana Ivanovic, the former world No1 and 2008 French Open champion, has retired from tennis at the age of 29, the Serb confirmed on Wednesday.

There is no other way to say this. I have decided to retire from professional tennis. It was a difficult decision but there is so much to celebrate, Ivanovic said on her Facebook page. Dont be sad, be optimistic alongside me. My love and my greatest thank you to all of you.

Ivanovic announced her retirement from tennis in a video, saying she no longer feels fit enough to compete at the highest level.

I played so many memorable matches. But staying at those heights in any professional athletic requires top physical form and its well-known that I have been hampered by traumata, Ivanovic said.

I can only play if I perform up to my own quality standards. I can no longer do that, so its time to move on.

Ivanovic became the first Serbian woman to win a grand slam tournament when she beat Russias Dinara Safina in the 2008 French Open final, following in the footsteps of her countryman Novak Djokovic, who clinched the Australian Open title the same year.

I began dreaming about tennis when I was five, Ivanovic said in the video. My dear parents backed me all the route and by the time I was the world No1 and won Roland Garros in 2008, I have ensure the heights I never dreamt of achieving, she added.

Her French Open victory propelled Ivanovic to the summit of the WTA world rankings but she occupied top spot for a only nine weeks and dropped to 22 nd at the end of 2009 after a dramatic loss of form.

Ivanovic returned to the top five in 2014, reaching the French Open semi-finals in 2015 to spark hopes of a revival, but slipped to 63 rd this year after losing to the Czech player Denisa Allertova in the US Open first round, her final match on the WTA tour.

I am so excited about what comes next. I will become an ambassador of athletic and healthy life and will also explore opportunities in business, beauty and way, among other endeavours, Ivanovic added.

Beyond that, who knows. All I can say is that I have lived my dreams and really hope to have helped others do so as well.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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