Former world No 1 and French Open winner Ana Ivanovic has announced her retirement from tennis at the age of 29.
Ivanovic confirmed several recent injuries are the reason for her decision to call time on a 13-year professional career which peaked with victory at Roland Garros in 2008, the year she reached the summit of the women’s rankings.
“I have decided to retire from professional tennis,” Ivanovic said in a video posted on her Facebook page. “It has been a difficult decision but there is so much to celebrate. I began dreaming about tennis when I was five and I saw Monica Seles playing on TV.
“My dear parents backed me all of the way and I’ve achieved heights that I never dreamt of achieving.
“I’ve won 15 WTA Tour titles, been in Grand Slam finals and been in Fed Cup finals – I played so many memorable matches and I don’t think that’s too bad for a tiny slip of a girl from Serbia.
“You have to be in top physical form and it’s well known that I’ve been hampered by injuries. I can only play if I can perform to my high standards and I can no longer do that so it’s time to move on.
“Tennis has always been my love but I’m excited about what comes next. I’m going to become an ambassador for sport and fitness and I will also explore opportunities in business and fashion, among other endeavours.
“I will also have more time for my philanthropic activities with UNICEF and others and after that, who knows.
“I have achieved my dreams and I hope to help others do so as well. So don’t be sad, be optimistic alongside me.”
After suffering a fifth straight loss in the opening round of the US Open in August, Ivanovic insisted she was not thinking of retiring, but subsequently announced she was calling time on her 2016 season in a bid to allow wrist and toe injuries to fully heal.
Ivanovic, who married Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger during the summer, was due to begin the new season at the ASB Classic in Auckland, starting on January 2, and was also on the entry list for the Australian Open.