PARIS—Former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic on Wednesday announced her retirement from tennis, admitting that the physical toll of the circuit had proved too much.
The 29-year-old Serbian held the top spot for 12 weeks in 2008, the season when she claimed her sole Grand Slam success by winning the French Open.
“I’ve decided to retire from professional tennis,” announced Ivanovic after a 13-year career.
“It has been a difficult decision, but there’s so much to celebrate.”
The Serb added: “I was ranked number one in the world and won Roland Garros in 2008. I’ve seen the highs I never dreamt of achieving.
“I won 15 WTA Tour singles titles, I played in three Grand Slam finals and a Fed Cup final and played so many memorable matches.
“But seeing those ‘highs’ in any professional sport requires top physical form and it’s well known that I’ve been hampered by injury.
“I can only play if I can perform up to my own high standard and I can no longer do that so it’s time to move on.”
Ivanovic’s last outing was a first-round loss at the US Open in September, a result that saw her drop out of the top 50 for the first times since 2010.
She announced at the time that she had taken the decision to stop playing until 2017 on medical advice over a recurring wrist injury, with a problematic toe also needing surgery.
WTA chairman Steve Simon called Ivanovic a “true champion and a great ambassador for the sport of women’s tennis”.
“She has contributed greatly to the entire sport, both in her home country of Serbia and across the globe,” Simon said.
“She will certainly be missed on our tour as she is not only one of a very select few that achieved the WTA No 1 ranking but is also one of the most respected players on Tour.”
Meanwhile, Australia’s Nick Kyrgios said Saturday he was ready for scrutiny at next month’s Australian Open, as the volatile star prepares for his comeback after a playing ban.
The controversial 21-year-old said his forced hiatus from tennis —when a meltdown at the Shanghai Masters in October resulted in an initial eight-week suspension—has proved a blessing.
A condition of the ATP reducing the ban to three weeks meant Kyrgios has been seeing a sports psychologist to prepare him for the new tennis season.
“I needed to shut down really after a very long and tough year,” Kyrgios told Fairfax Media on Saturday.
He added he was now focusing on “managing my schedule and time better to help with physical and mental freshness”.
Kyrgios knows he will be in the spotlight at his home Grand Slam tournament and he is working to ensure the media pressure does not derail his campaign.
“Look, the added media interest is never easy and it’s something that I haven’t fully got my head around or got used to, but what can I do?” Kyrgios said.