Conchita Calls it a Career
Published April 15, 2006 12:00
VALENCIA, Spain - One of Spain's most recognized female athletes ever, Conchita Martínez, brought down the curtain on her illustrious career today, calling an end to an 18-year journey on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour at a ceremony in Valencia, Spain, one day shy of her 34th birthday.
"I have been away from the courts for quite some time now due to a serious injury to my Achilles tendon," said the former Spanish No.1. "I have had a lot of time to think and have decided the best thing for me is to retire from singles competition. I am leaving open the slight possibility of playing doubles at some point in the future, depending on the status of my injury following surgery."
Martínez is best remembered for her lone Grand Slam singles title run at 1994 Wimbledon, where she won four consecutive, grueling three set matches in the last four rounds, culminating with a 64 36 63 win over 37-year-old nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova in the title match.
"I have had so many great moments during my 18-year professional tennis career. The most precious moments that will always hold a very special place in my heart are winning medals for my country during the Olympics and helping Spain win five Fed Cup titles. On a more individual level, my Wimbledon title was a dream come true. I will tremendously miss being on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, but I intend to be involved in women's tennis in other ways in the near future. The sport has given so much to me and it's a big part of my life. I want to try and give back to it all that I can."
"Conchita Martínez will be remembered as one of the greats in women's professional tennis," said Sony Ericsson WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott. "Conchita's contribution to popularizing the sport in her native Spain, as well as globally, has helped make women's tennis the leading global sport for women. Conchita's ability to stay at the top of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Rankings for such an extended period of time is a testament to her talent and fighting spirit, and she will be missed by her many adoring fans and fellow players."
Twenty two-time Grand Slam champion Steffi Graf had this to say: "Conchi has always been such a great person, someone you could always talk to and so easy to approach at any time. She has had a great career to look back on. I wish her all the best and she should be very proud of what she has achieved!"
"We have shared great moments as partners during our careers, especially during the Olympic games and Fed Cup," said four-time major winner and fellow Spaniard Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario. "They were great moments for women's tennis in Spain. I wish Conchi all the best in her new life away from tennis."