Ana Ivanovic

Belgrade, Dec 29 (IANS) Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanovic, who became the world No. 1 in 2008, has announced her retirement.

“I’ve decided to retire from professional tennis. It has been a difficult decision, but there is so much to celebrate,” Ivanovic said in a Facebook post on Wednesday, reports Efe news agency.

Ivanovic, who started playing when she was five years old, noted that she won 15 titles on the WTA Tour and the 2008 French Open championship.

She played in three Grand Slam finals and a Federation Cup final.

“I began dreaming of tennis when I was five and saw Monica Seles play on TV. My parents backed me all the way, and by the time I was ranked No.1 in the world and won Roland Garros in 2008, I’ve seen the heights I’ve never dreamt of achieving,” Ivanovic said.

The 29-year-old Ivanovic said recent injuries had prevented her from competing at the highest level and that it only made sense to play if she was in top form.

“I can only play if I can perform up to my own high standards, and I can no longer do that. So it’s time to move on,” the former world No. 1 said.

Ivanovic, who has served as Unicef National Ambassador to Serbia since 2007, said she planned to be an ambassador for tennis and to promote healthy lifestyles.

Ivanovic played her last match at the 2016 US Open, losing in the first round.

The former French Open champion married German footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger, who plays for Manchester United, on July 12.

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