“There is no other way to say this. I have decided to retire from professional tennis. It was a difficult decision but there is so much to celebrate,” Ivanovic said on her Facebook page. “Don’t be sad, be optimistic alongside me. My love and my greatest thank you to all of you.”
Ivanovic announced her retirement from tennis in a video, saying she no longer feels fit enough to compete at the highest level.
“I played so many memorable matches. But staying at those heights in any professional sport requires top physical form and it’s well-known that I have been hampered by injuries,” Ivanovic said.
“I can only play if I perform up to my own high standards. I can no longer do that, so it’s time to move on.”
Ivanovic became the first Serbian woman to win a grand slam tournament when she beat Russia’s Dinara Safina in the 2008 French Open final, following in the footsteps of her compatriot Novak Djokovic, who clinched the Australian Open title the same year.
“I began dreaming about tennis when I was five,” Ivanovic said in the video. “My dear parents backed me all the way and by the time I was the world No1 and won Roland Garros in 2008, I have seen the heights I never dreamt of achieving,” she added.
Her French Open victory catapulted Ivanovic to the summit of the WTA world rankings but she occupied top spot for a only nine weeks and dropped to 22nd at the end of 2009 after a dramatic loss of form.
Ivanovic returned to the top five in 2014, reaching the French Open semi-finals in 2015 to spark hopes of a revival, but slipped to 63rd this year after losing to the Czech player Denisa Allertova in the US Open first round, her final match on the WTA tour.
“I am so excited about what comes next. I will become an ambassador of sport and healthy life and will also explore opportunities in business, beauty and fashion, among other endeavours,” Ivanovic added.
“Beyond that, who knows. All I can say is that I have lived my dreams and really hope to have helped others do so as well.”