VIENNA, Austria - After prolonged struggles with injury and illness the last few years, Anastasija Sevastova - the only Latvian in the last 20 years to win a WTA title - has called it a career.
Sevastova began playing WTA events in 2007 and it didn't take her long to find her way, reaching the quarterfinals or better at WTA events 11 times between 2009 and 2013 - including the aforementioned title run at Estoril in 2010, where she was the first Latvian to win a WTA title since Larisa Savchenko won Schenectady in 1993. She scored two Top 10 wins, over Jelena Jankovic and Sam Stosur, and peaked at No.36 herself after reaching her first Grand Slam second week in Australia in 2011.
But lengthy battles in the last few years with illness (she missed nine events in 2011 and another one in 2013) and injury (most notably an elbow injury that put her out four months in 2012) took their toll on the young Latvian, and this past week she announced her retirement from professional tennis.
"Dear all, I want to inform you about my latest decision - retirement from professional tennis," Sevastova said in a statement. "Because of almost three years of continuing illnesses, injuries and the related problems, I don't see myself carrying on in this complex sport at the highest possible level.
"I am and will always be grateful for everything tennis has given to me. Thank you to the WTA and the ITF for the support - and my most sincere wishes of success to everybody involved in tennis."