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Ana Ivanovic retires from professional tennis

The 29-year-old won the French Open in 2008.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 30: Ana Ivanovic of Serbia returns a shot to Denisa Allertova of Czech Republic during her first round Women's Singles match on Day Two of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 30, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Ana Ivanovic will retire from the sport at 29 years old

Former World No. 1 tennis player Ana Ivanovic announced in a live stream to social network Facebook today that she will be retiring from tennis with immediate effect.

The 29-year-old, who went professional in 2003 at the age of 16, has won 14 WTA Tour level titles in addition to her 2008 win at the French Open over Dinara Safina. That year, and the season leading up to it, were arguably the best Ivanovic saw in her career, with the Serb making the finals of the Australian Open, where she lost to Maria Sharapova, just before her win at Roland Garros.

Ivanovic’s French Open win remains her only Grand Slam title, but she has seen success on the Tour otherwise, taking a number of victories over higher-ranked players. However, her form has fluctuated since, with Ivanovic dropping in and out of the WTA top 20. 

She saw patchy form for the next few years, but stabilized somewhat to mount some form of a return in the 2013 season. That year, Ivanovic made slow but steady progress leading up to the clay court season, and slowly, with a handful of victories, re-entered the top 20. 

With a quick start and title wins to commence the 2014 season, Ivanovic took a number of wins over former World No. 1 players, all of whom were in form at the time, and on the back of those performances returned to the top 10, ending 2014 as the World No. 5. 

Since then, Ivanovic has had a handful of good performances, but these have not been as consistent as the Serb would have liked. She struggled with injuries in 2015 in addition to her inconsistent form, and a reunion with former coach Nigel Sears did not appear to help the Serb. 

She was unable that year to qualify for the World Tour Finals, ending the season as the World No. 16. She did, however, reach the semi-finals of the French Open that year, losing out to Lucie Safarova despite having been in a winning position in that match. 

2016 has perhaps been Ivanovic’s lowest season yet. The 29-year-old has seen a series of losses to qualifiers and lower-ranked players, and eventually dropped out of the top 50. 

She is currently 65th on the tour. 

Ivanovic began dating German footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger in 2014, and the pair married in Venice, Italy earlier this year. 

Schweinsteiger has had struggles of his own in recent months, however. The Manchester United midfielder was demoted after Jose Mourinho took on management at the English club, only recently returning to training with the first team. He has not returned to full-time play with the team, but came on as a substitute most recently at United’s Champions League match against West Ham.

In light of her repeated injury woes and struggles with form, retirement may seem like a good idea for the 29-year-old, who first started playing at 16. It is not known as yet if the Fed Cup finalist will choose to take up coaching at a later date.

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