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Keothavong Announces Retirement

Former British No.1 Anne Keothavong - a seven-time WTA semifinalist, in fact the only Brit to reach any WTA semifinals in the 20-year period between 1992 and 2012 - has called it a career.

Published July 24, 2013 12:02

Keothavong Announces Retirement
Anne Keothavong

LONDON, England - Former British No.1 Anne Keothavong announced her retirement on Wednesday, wrapping up a 12-year professional career that included reaching seven WTA semifinals.

"I have given my decision a lot of thought and I believe this is the right time to move on to the next stage of my career," Keothavong said of the announcement. "I have had some magical moments along the way and I would like to thank my family for their unwavering support and encouragement, the LTA for their fantastic backing, my coach Jeremy Bates and also Nigel Sears who have both been very influential in my tennis career and of course, the great tennis fans in Britain and all over the world.

"I think I am leaving tennis in excellent shape with both Laura Robson and Heather Watson leading the way for Britain in the women's game. I am now focussing on my exciting new challenge with BT Sport."

Keothavong's career was highlighted by seven WTA semifinals, one in 2007 (Kolkata), three in 2009 (Auckland, Memphis and Warsaw), two in 2010 (Memphis and Luxembourg) and one more in 2011 (Luxembourg). She was the only Brit to reach a WTA semifinal in the 20 years between 1992 and 2012 (Jo Durie did it at 1992 Birmingham, then Keothavong seven times, then Robson at 2012 Palermo).

Keothavong's best Grand Slam came at the 2008 US Open, reaching the third round (falling to Elena Dementieva). She reached her career-high ranking of No.48 a few months later in February 2009.

The Brit did reach one WTA final in doubles, that one coming earlier this year at Florianopolis (she and Valeria Savinykh were runners-up to top seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova).

Keothavong will join Lynsey Hipgrave, former British No.1 Sam Smith and Martina Navratilova to cover 21 WTA events for BT Sport, including the four Premier Mandatories and WTA Championships.

Simon Green, director of BT Sport, said: "We are particularly pleased to have signed up Anne for our tennis team. She's straight off the court and I am sure that will give her fantastic insight into the mentality and performance of her fellow professionals. Anne has been at the forefront of women's tennis in the UK for years and can give viewers the benefit of her experience and knowledge of both her fellow British stars, like Heather Watson and Laura Robson, as well as the current top players."

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