Tennis: Ana Ivanovic, former world No. 1 retires from Tennis aged 29

Serbian Tennis ace and former world number one Ana Ivanovic has retired from tennis at the age of 29. Ana Ivanovic was 2008 French Open champion. The Serb, always with a nice smile on her face, has been out with injury since August and dropped to 63 in the world rankings, having won just 15 matches in 2016 - the most recent in June.

“I was ranked number one in the world and won Roland Garros in 2008. I’ve seen the highs I never dreamt of achieving,” said the 29-yr-old Serb. Any professional sport requires top physical form and it’s well known that I’ve been hampered by injury. I can only play if it is up to my own high standards. I can no longer do that so it is time to move on," she said.

Charming Ivanovic spent 12 weeks as world number one in 2008 and won 15 career singles titles. She reached the French Open semi-final in 2015 and was runner-up at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2007 and at the 2008 Australian Open."It has been a difficult decision but I have so much to celebrate."

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. After suffering a fifth straight loss in the opening round of the US Open in August, Ivanovic insisted she was not thinking of retiring, saying: "I just need to really see why is this happening. "I had struggles throughout my career. I had some tough times. This is not the first time I'm going through this. It just hurts because I know what I invested."

A few days later Ivanovic, who married Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger in the summer, announced she was calling time on her season in a bid to allow wrist and toe injuries to fully heal.

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.
There has been speculation in recent years about Ivanovic's future in the sport, with the Serbian struggling to replicate the form that brought her only grand slam title at the French Open in 2008. So for myself, for all my fans, and for all those young girls and boys may have been watching me, I can only play if I can be up to my own high standards. "And I can no longer do that, so it's time to move on."

Unfortunately for Ivanovic, she retires after a 2016 to forget in which she won just 15 matches all year, the most recent in June, and slipped to 65th in the rankings.

Ana Ivanovic has announced she is hanging up her racquet, bringing her illustrious tennis career to an end at the age of 29. The Serbian former world No.1 chose to deliver the news to her fans on Facebook on Wednesday night. She had promised to reveal "important" news the day before. "I have some big news I want to share with you. I have not announced it anywhere else because I think you deserve to hear it first. There is no other way to say this. I have decided to retire from professional tennis," Ivanovic said. "It was a difficult decision but there is so much to celebrate. Don't be sad, be optimistic alongside me.

Ivanovic added. "I began dreaming about playing tennis when I was five and saw Monica Seles playing on TV.”I have seen heights I never dreamt of achieving."

Ivanovic, who married Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger earlier this year, said she will explore opportunities in business, beauty and fashion in retirement and said it will allow her more time for her work with UNICEF, with whom she holds the position of National Ambassador for Serbia.

Ivanovic posted pictures of herself back in training in November and was one of the highest-profile players to compete in this year's International Premier Tennis League in Asia. She 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. Ivanovic's career highlights include reaching the Australia Open final, also in 2008, and the 2007 Wimbledon semi-finals. She won 15 WTA titles with career on-court earnings totaling US$15,510,787.

”My love and my greatest thanks to all of you!"

Ana Ivanovic’s retirement announcement came as a rude shock to her fans worldwide.

Fellow tennis ace Caroline Wozniacki ‏said of Ana Ivanovic: “Will miss you on tour, but excited for you and what your new chapter has to bring see you soon!!” You should be very proud of your achievements!

Respect for AnaIvanovic decision to retire from tennis on her own positive terms.

Best wishes for her future endeavours. Once a champion, always a champion. Her pure smile even at the time of reversals is indeed remarkable. You should be very proud of your achievements.

In sports, smile is a rare thing on the courts as players only show their anger lavishly.

Generally, tennis players are known to showcase their arrogance when win matches as if they have achieved the impossible on earth.



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