With an official announcement on her Facebook page, Iveta Melzer (née Benesova) ended her 16-year professional tennis career.
The Czech started playing the sport at the age of seven, turned pro when she was 15 and now at 31 she is ready to say goodbye to tennis and welcome a new chapter in her life. Is she maybe planning to become a mother or is she switching to a full-time fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogging career?
Here are some highlights from Iveta’s retirement statement:
So this is the end of my journey as a professional tennis player. This wasn’t an easy decision because tennis has been my life since I was a little girl, but it’s about the right time. I feel it in my heart. Being out for over a year and still facing continuous shoulder problems has not been easy for me, so this thought has been on my mind for some time. The truth is also that after so many years on tour, it is hard for me to find the determination or desire to make tennis my number one priority in life. So deep down inside me I know that this is the right time for me to move on.
Iveta also thanked her husband Jurgen Melzer, who helped her win her sole Grand Slam title, the 2011 mixed doubles at Wimbledon. They got married on September 14, 2012 at Laxenburg Castle, Austria.
Thank you Juergen, my husband, my best friend. You’re one of the reasons I will always love this sport, because I got a chance to meet you and become part of your life. Thanks for your love and support in every situation. And of course I have to mention the Grand Slam you helped me to win, Wimbledon 2011. You made my dream come true. I’m glad to be there for you now and enjoy your journey…
Iveta finished the statement by saying:
There were times I used to be worried about the future after tennis. I’m not afraid anymore, because I know what I want. I have new goals and dreams, and I am looking forward to new challenges. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to live such an extraordinary life. I am living my dreams.
Iveta’s highest career ranking was No.25 in singles and No.17 in doubles. She won two WTA titles: Acapulco in 2004 and Fes in 2010. Her last match was at this year’s French Open, a first-round loss to Coco Vandeweghe.
Thank you, Frank, for telling me about the news! (photos: Ralf Reinecke, Getty Images)