Many tennis fans today would say that this sport is, in a professional competitive point of view, is one for the young. True, there have been pro tennis stars that played well even into their late 30s like the celebrated Jimmy Connors and his semifinal finish at the 1991 US Open, aged 39 then. But these are more exceptions, and the rule of thumb is that tennis pro players tend to retire young. In the case of a Serbian pro who as of November 2016 was at rank number 63 worldwide by the Women’s Tennis Association, the time to bow out of her favorite sport has come.
BBC reports that Ana Ivanovic, former world number one and champion of the 2008 French Open, has officially announced her retirement from professional tennis on her official Facebook page after Tweeting 24 hours earlier to her 1.23 million followers that she had something important to say. Ivanovic is currently 29 years old.
Still, her career in the fast-paced world of pro competition has left its toll on her. Game injuries have sidelined Ivanovic since August this year. Her long hiatus meant that she was only able to compete in pro matches for just over half of 2016, and she has won only 15 with the latest last June, causing her world ranking to tank. “I can only play if it is up to my own high standards,” she had said in her 2-minute FB video revealing her intention to retire. “I can no longer do that so it is time to move on.”
Nevertheless the decision to hang up her racket, not because of age but due to injuries, was “difficult” for her to make.
After becoming a pro in 2003, Ivanovic went on to reach the top of the tennis world in 2008 when she spent a total of 12 weeks as rank number one alongside her French Open win, thanks to her signature powerful forehand drive. Her career saw her winning 15 singles titles, also finishing as runner- up in the 2007 Wimbledon and Roland Garros tournaments, and the 2008 Australian Open. She recalls inn her video the beginning of her dream when she was five years old and saw the heyday of Monica Seles, playing for then-united Yugoslavia.
Her video capped off with her looking back at her achievements: “I've seen the heights I've never dreamed of achieving -- 15 WTA titles, (reached) three grand slam finals, a Fed Cup final and I've played so many memorable matches. Not bad for a tiny slip of a girl from Serbia!”
Ivanovic, who is married to Bastian Schweinsteiger of Manchester United since early this year, plans to go into the business of beauty and fashion post-retirement.
Photo Credit to http://www.tennis.com/