By Rachel Tiffen
After snaring Maria Sharapova for next year’s ASB Classic, organisers were hoping to add another Russian star to the tournament.
But, after losing at the WTA Championships, World Number Nine Elena Dementieva stunned the crowd by announcing her retirement.
Calling time on her 12-year career, Dementieva said it was a very special year for her.
“This is my last tournament,” she said.
The 29-year-old, who climbed to third on the world ladder last year and has 16 titles, said she wanted to retire while still at the top of her game.
“It’s been an amazing experience for me,” she says.
“I feel like I’ve been playing wide already but I feel like it’s time for me to make a big step forward and make some decisions in my life.”
Dementieva won her first international tournament at the age of 13 and it was a rapid rise from there – in 2008 she took out three titles and an Olympic gold. Her career peaked with a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.
“It was an amazing feeling,” she says. “I dreamed my whole life about winning a goal medal.”
Last year in Auckland, Dementieva made history as the first Russian to win the ASB Classic. Organsiers had hoped she would come back in January.
Despite a niggly calf injury this season, she finished her career with a world ranking of nine.
Dementieva says tennis is her life and she will miss it.
But for now, it’s just the books she’ll be hitting as she focuses on her studies.
source: newshub archive