PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Former World No.5 and 2015 Roland Garros finalist Lucie Safarova has announced her final tournament will be the 2019 Australian Open. The 31-year-old announced the news at a pre-final press conference ahead of the Fed Cup final between the Czech Republic and the United States on Saturday. She hopes to be able to play both singles and doubles in Melbourne and has requested a wildcard she falls outside the main draw cut.
"I had a great career but my health doesn't allow me to continue," Safarova said. The Czech has struggled with various illnesses over the last three seasons and has seen her singles ranking drop to No.106. Speaking in Czech, said her health issues have made the prospect of constant travel and climbing back up the rankings too difficult.
Safarova has won 7 WTA singles titles and 15 doubles titles in her 16-year-career. An all-court, all-discipline threat, the versatile Czech striker made the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2014 before becoming a major finalist a year later, making a run to the 2015 French Open final where she lost to Serena Williams in three sets. Her stellar 2015 season, which also saw her win the title in Doha and return to the Round of 16, put her into the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global for the first time in her career.
In addition to her fantastic singles career, Safarova's doubles career took off when she teamed with her good friend Bethanie Mattek-Sands in 2015. The pair won five majors together - 2015 Australian Open, 2015 Roland Garros, 2016 US Open, 2017 Australian Open, and 2016 Roland Garros - and ascended to the top of the doubles rankings. Safarova also won Olympic bronze at the Olympics in Rio de Janiero with Barbora Strycova in 2016.