ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - Ana Ivanovic announced today that she is ending her memorable 14-year career and retiring from professional tennis. The winner of 15 WTA singles titles, a Grand Slam champion and the first Serbian player to hold the top ranking in the world, Ivanovic concludes a career that saw her become one of the best and most respected players in the history of the WTA.
"I've decided to retire from professional tennis. It has been a difficult decision, but there is so much to celebrate," Ivanovic told fans in a message via her Facebook page. "I began dreaming of tennis when I was five and saw Monica Seles play on TV. My parents backed me all the way, and by the time I was ranked No.1 in the world and won Roland Garros in 2008, I've seen the heights I've never dreamt of achieving.
"I won 15 WTA titles, played so many memorable matches - I would say not bad for a tiny slip of a girl from Serbia!"
She added: "Seeing those heights in any professional sport requires top physical form, and it's well-known that I've been hampered by injury. I can only play if I can perform up to my own high standards, and I can no longer do that. So it's time to move on."
The 29-year-old exits the game having been one of only 21 players to have ever held the WTA World No.1 ranking, ascending to the top spot on June 9, 2008. Ivanovic held the No.1 ranking for a total of 12 weeks, from June 9 - August 10, 2008 for 9 weeks before capturing the top spot again for three more weeks until September 7, 2008.
Ivanovic recorded her career-best season in 2008 when she claimed the Roland Garros title, catapulting her to the WTA World No.1 ranking. She also won titles at Indian Wells and Linz and was runner-up at the Australian Open that same season.
Ivanovic turned professional in 2003 and won her first WTA title in 2005 at Canberra. In addition to her 15 career WTA singles titles, she held eight runner-up trophies including 2007 Roland Garros and 2008 Australian Open. In 2014, Ivanovic won a WTA-leading 58 matches highlighted by a single-season best four singles titles, with her 15th and final WTA title coming at Tokyo (Pan Pacific). The Serbian holds 480 career match wins and qualified for the WTA Finals on three occasions - in 2007, 2008 and 2014.
Off the court, Ivanovic has served as UNICEF National Ambassador to Serbia since 2007, specializing in child safety in schools. She has been recognized with numerous awards surrounding her accomplished career, including the 2008 Jerry Diamond WTA Aces Award recognizing off-court participation, the WTA's Most Improved Player in 2005 and 2007, nominated for U.S. Secretary of State's 2007 International Women of Courage Award, and named one of the "30 Legends of Women's Tennis: Past, Present and Future" by TIME Magazine in June 2011.
"Ana is a true champion and a great ambassador for the sport of women's tennis," said Steve Simon, WTA CEO and Chairman. "She has contributed greatly to the entire sport, both in her home country of Serbia and across the globe. She will certainly be missed on our tour as she is not only one of a very select few that achieved the WTA No.1 ranking but is also one of the most respected players on Tour."
Ivanovic played her last professional match at the 2016 US Open, falling in the first round and subsequently hampered with a recurring wrist injury which prevented her from competing the rest of the season.