London: Ana Ivanovic, once the top-ranked women’s player in the world, announced her retirement from tennis on Wednesday at 29.
“It was a difficult decision, but there is so much to celebrate,” Ivanovic, who saw her play slide because of injuries, said in a live broadcast on Facebook. Ivanovic, of Serbia, won 15 WTA Tour titles, including the 2008 French Open, and was ranked 63rd at the time of her announcement. She said the injuries she had dealt with had contributed to her decision.
“I can only play if I can perform up to my own high standards, and I can no longer do that,” she said. “So it’s time to move on.”
Ivanovic, who became a United Nations Children’s Fund national ambassador for Serbia in 2007, said she would become “an ambassador of sport and healthy life” while also pursuing opportunities in business, beauty and fashion. Retirement will give her more time for her work with Unicef, she said, adding, “I’ve lived my dreams, and I really hope to help others do so as well.”
Ivanovic’s career reached its peak in 2008, when she was ranked No. 1 and won the French Open. She was a finalist at Roland Garros in 2007 and at the Australian Open in 2008, but she lost in the first round of this year’s United States Open to 89th-ranked Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic. It was Ivanovic’s second straight first-round exit at Flushing Meadows.
She announced a week later that she would sit out the rest of the season because of a recurring wrist injury and would have surgery on a toe she had broken at the Australian Open in 2015.
In a statement on the WTA’s website, Steve Simon, the tour’s chief executive, 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.”