Former world number one Ana Ivanovic announces her retirement from tennis

The 2008 French Open winner made the announcement on Wednesday night

BY Cian Roche 18:34 Wednesday 28 December 2016, 18:34 28 Dec 2016

Image: Steve Paston / PA Wire/PA Images

Former world number one Ana Ivanovic announced her retirement from tennis, admitting the decision to do so was a difficult one.

The Serb, who won the French Open in 2008, urged her fans to "be optimistic" about the decision and thanked them for their support over the course of her distinguished career.

"There is no other way to say this," she broadcast on Facebook. "I have decided to retire from professional tennis. It was a difficult decision but there is so much to celebrate.

"Don’t be sad, be optimistic alongside me. My love and my greatest thank you to all of you."

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The 29-year-old pointed to her struggles with injury as her main reason for retiring and that to perform to her  own high standards, she needs to be in a condition she no longer feels she can maintain.

"My dear parents backed me all the way and by the time I was number one in the world and won Roland Garros, I've seen the heights I've never dreamed of achieving.

"To reach those heights in any professional sport, requires top physical form. It's well known that I've been hampered by injuries. So, for myself, my fans and all these young girls and boys who might be watching me, I can only perform if I can play up to my own high standards.

"I can no longer do that, so it's time to move on."

The Serb has been out of action since August of this year and dropped as far as 63 in the world rankings. Over the course of her career, she won 15 singles titles and made it to the final of three Grand Slams - Roland Garros in 2007 and at the 2008 Australian Open as well as her victory in Roland Garros in 2008.

She spent 12 weeks atop the world rankings eight years ago. 

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