Tennis star Ana Ivanovic announced her retirement from the sport on Wednesday, calling it quits at the age of 29.
The Serbian star made the news official via Facebook:
She provided more details via her official Twitter account:
To my dear supporters…. pic.twitter.com/9ycCamNela
— Ana Ivanovic (@AnaIvanovic) December 28, 2016
The former World No. 1 struggled for consistency after her breakout performance at the 2008 French Open, her only Grand Slam title. A brief resurgence in 2014 didn’t last, and she fell all the way to 63rd place on the WTA rankings in 2016, per the WTA’s official website.
Ivanovic, who is married to Manchester United star Bastian Schweinsteiger, remained a favourite of fans, but following a disappointing 2016 season, her retirement shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Per WTA Insider, Ivanovic revealed she’s been thinking about retirement for some time:
Just got off the phone with @AnaIvanovic. Says it wasn’t an overnight decision. Sounds at peace. Happy to hear that famous smile.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) December 28, 2016
Ivanovic enjoyed a spectacular rise up the WTA rankings, starting in 2005, when she won her first tournament on tour. A year later, she defeated then-World No. 1 Martina Hingis at the Rogers Cup, setting herself up for a spectacular 2007.
Her first and only Grand Slam title came in 2008 at Roland Garros, a result that moved her up to the top of the WTA rankings for the first time in her career. Poor showings at Wimbledon and the US Open cost her the position, however, and injury forced her to miss out on the Summer Olympics.
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Injuries became a regular occurence for Ivanovic after 2008, and she dropped out of the top 20 the following year. She still enjoyed strong spells, including a return to the top five in 2014 and a semi-final appearance in Paris in 2015, but more injuries took their toll.
Women’s tennis legend Billie Jean King praised Ivanovic via Twitter:
@AnaIvanovic Best wishes with your future endeavors. Will miss seeing that spectacular smile! 😁 Once a champion, always a champion. 🏆 💖
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) December 28, 2016
Ivanovic’s claim she won’t disappear from the sport completely could point toward a future in the media or coaching. Per GoalUSA (for Yahoo Sports), husband Schweinsteiger is strongly linked with a move to MLS, so the couple could be heading for the USA shortly.