BARCELONA, Spain - Former World No.6 Carla Suárez Navarro has announced today in a press conference at the Barcino Tennis Club in Barcelona that 2020 will be her final year as a professional tennis player.
"The 2020 season will be my last year in the professional tennis circuit," said the Spaniard. "The sport has been a fundamental part of my life - it has given me immense joy and I cannot be more grateful for all the experiences that it has allowed me to live. At this time, I notice that the time has come to complete a beautiful chapter and begin to enjoy other areas of life. Tennis will always be in me.
"Tennis right now has a very high demand. To be high in the ranking you need absolute consistency, a world-class level of physical conditioning and a 24-hour daily psychological commitment. I have been in high competition for more than 15 years and have lived through these realities since the beginning of my adolescence. These are lessons that have formed me as a person and that will serve me for a lifetime," Suárez Navarro continued. "I want to enjoy one last season with the same professionalism as always. I am going to do a quality preparation, my whole team is going to travel with me from the month of January and I plan to compete until the end of the season. My desire is clear: to be proud of this last effort when I reach the end of the road."
2020 será mi última temporada como tenista profesional. ¡Gracias a todos por el apoyo y nos vemos pronto! ??— Carla Suárez Navarro (@CarlaSuarezNava) December 3, 2019
Today I announced that 2020 will be my last season on Tour. Thanks for your support and see you soon! ☺️ pic.twitter.com/0n4kf3cZMH
Suárez Navarro shot to prominence in her breakthrough season of 2008, when she reached the quarterfinals of Roland Garros as a 19-year-old qualifier in her Grand Slam debut. That season would be the first of 12 consecutive year-end finishes inside the Top 50 as she entrenched herself in the upper echelon of the sport: over the years, the Canary Islands native would garner a reputation not only for longevity and consistency but for the aesthetic style and elegance of her game, marked out by her crowd-pleasing single-handed backhand.
Suárez Navarro's flowing approach to the sport would net her seven Grand Slam quarterfinal finishes in total to date - three at the Australian Open (2009, 2016, 2019), two at Roland Garros (2008, 2014) and two at the US Open (2013, 2018) as well as a career-high ranking of World No.6, set in 2016 after winning the second and biggest title of her career in Doha. That year would also be the second of Suárez Navarro's two year-end Top 10 finishes, having also been runner-up in Miami and Rome in 2015. In total, she would score 28 Top 10 wins, including victories over elite rivals such as Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova and Garbiñe Muguruza.
As befits such a dedicated athlete, Suárez Navarro does not intend to merely treat 2020, which she will start in Auckland from 6 January, like a farewell tour - but to approach it with the same level of ambition as always. "My goals are going to be as high as ever," she said. "I want to try to finish the year in the Top 10 because I know what it takes to be there. I am very excited to participate in another Olympic Games and, as always, I will have the Grand Slams in mind. Although it is the last season of my career, my mentality will be exactly the same: work, humility and ambition."
Spanish Fed Cup captain Anabel Medina Garrigues led the tributes to one of her team's stalwarts, writing: "Sad because in a year she will retire... but at the same time happy, because we have 365 days left to enjoy one of the best!"
Triste porque en un año se retira @CarlaSuarezNava ....¡Pero a la vez feliz porque nos quedan 365 días para disfrutar de una de las mejores! ¡Gracias por haberme permitido acompañarte hoy en un día tan especial! ¡Siempre a tu lado! ? pic.twitter.com/Bk5Dld5A38— Anabel Medina (@anabelmedina) December 3, 2019