Former WTA World No.3 (in both singles and doubles) Nadia Petrova has announced her retirement from professional tennis after a 19-year career.
"Tennis has given me so much," Petrova told WTA Insider. "It's given me a career, shaped me as a person, allowed me the opportunity to travel the world, make friends internationally and learn about many cultures. My opportunities have become endless and for that, I'm forever grateful."
The 34-year-old from Russia concludes a career which saw her clinch 13 WTA singles and 24 WTA doubles titles, reach a Grand Slam singles semifinal, advance to two Grand Slam doubles finals and win the WTA Finals doubles title on two occasions.
Check out Petrova's full statement below and click here to read WTA Insider's exclusive interview with the two-time French Open semifinalist.
Tennis has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. It was pretty much everything I did on a daily basis and the little time I had off, I would spend with my loved ones. I suppose when the time comes to say goodbye, it becomes bitter sweet. It's confusing, somewhat painful, scary yet also gratifying. I've decided to turn the page and move on to another stage in my life and I'm ready to do it. Tennis has given me so much. It's given me a career, shaped me as a person, allowed me the opportunity to travel the world, make friends internationally and learn about many cultures.
My opportunities have become endless and for that, I'm forever grateful. My career has been great, obviously with highs and lows. We all know I was plagued with many injuries which made some of my calendar years challenging. Unfortunately that's part of an athlete's life and we all learn how to deal with that. We fall and then we get back up and keep going. Then there comes a time, no matter what you do, say or feel, nothing is ever enough. Your body lets you know it's had enough. In 2013, when I lost my mother, emotionally I was a mess. On top of that, I was dealing with a hip injury which affected a good portion of the year. I made the decision to take some personal time to heal physically and emotionally. Hopefully that would help me once I decided to step back on court. In February 2014, I tried playing to see how I felt. My mind was still everywhere but on the court and my body was just not responding. It was painful. Painful because I felt useless and the player I was once, was no longer there.
I took more time and when I decided to start training again, my body felt good but once I was aggressively doing court work, it started to break down again. I had to start facing the inevitable and that was that my career had come to an end. To be able to compete at a high level with these top players, I had to be in the best shape and if my hip was not holding up, there was no way I could move on. After many failed attempts of trying to make a come back, I came to the realization that maybe it was time to turn the page and say goodbye to tennis competitively. I would be starting a new chapter in my life, exploring other interest and keeping myself occupied but most importantly spending my time with my loved ones. Making up for lost time.
I said to myself.. "I want to start a family, I want to be home more and I want to enjoy a lot of the things I never had time for while I was on the road". So although it's been unfortunate that I was unable to overcome this last injury and compete again, I'm excited for what's to come and be a part of tennis in the future with other aspects of the sport. I've been blessed that Tennis has been such a huge part of my life professionally for the past 15 years. I want to thank every single one of you who has made it possible along the way. Whether that's been sponsors, tournament staff, WTA, my travel team (which consisted of my coach, trainer, physio and manager), friends and family.. Thank you all. Last but not least MY FANS!! You have been my motivation, my back bone and the reason why I hadn't given up sooner. Without fans, there wouldn't be tennis. You all make the sport. Thank you all so much for believing in me and helping me through out my entire career.
Without any further delay, I'd like to make it known that I'm officially retiring from the sport. I plan to stay involved in tennis in the near future. I will be devoting a lot of my time to the sport through charity work which I will make known soon. I may no longer be competing but I will never be far from a court. My heart will always belong there.
Thank you all for making my career so memorable.