The former world number 1 announced today via her Facebook page that her fitness was the main reason for her retirement.
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.
Ana Ivanovic, who won the 2008 edition of Roland Garros, has recently slipped down the rankings. She’s now ranked 65 in the world, and seemingly cannot compete at the level which won her the Parisian Grand Slam title. As the tennis world mourns the end of a career for the Serbian tennis star, Ana herself has much to be thankful about. Her impressive career included making the finals of Roland Garros in 2007, where, unfortunately, she was overpowered by Justin Henin, losing 6-1 6-2.
She didn’t relent when the Australian Open came around. Ana made the finals, but the title evaded her. Ana Ivanovic lost to Maria Sharapova in straight sets; 5-7, 3-6. She would have to wait for her maiden Grand Slam title, which came at Roland Garros, where she used her devastating forehand to particular effect on the Parisian clay. This led her to victory; overcoming Dinara Safina in straight sets: 6-4 6-3. On the 8th of July, 2008, the Serbian had reached the pinnacle of women’s tennis; she became world number 1.
After 2008, Ana’s form dipped, having a string of inconsistent results. Several years later, in 2014, the Serbian teamed up with Nigel Sears, and the two hit it off from the start. She won four titles that year, a career-best haul, which included her first grass court title which she won at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, where she prevailed over Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová in straight sets; 6-3, 6-2. She finished the year ranked number 5.
In 2015, her inconsistent results continued. She, however, made the Semi-Finals of Roland Garros for the first time since her victory at the Parisian Grand Slam. She struggled with her form, and was overcome by Lucie Safarova, although being up 5-2 in the first set. Safarova prevailed in straight sets; 7-5, 7-5.
Fitness issues and inconsistency continued to plague her season, and in 2016, she never progressed past the Third Round at a Grand Slam. Her announcement today must be revealed with a hint of regret;
“It has been a difficult decision but I have so much to celebrate,”
In all, she won 15 WTA titles, and was always friendly off court. On court, her game was less than friendly; her trademark forehand creating problems for almost any player.
It’s a sad end for the former world number 1. Her game, grace, and attitude will never be forgotten; neither will her triumph at the Parisian Grand Slam. Beautifully put, the Serbian reflected on her career and the end of an era.
“I have seen heights I never dreamt of achieving.”
The world of tennis will certainly miss you, Ana Ivanovic.