On Friday, October 29th, Elena Dementieva announced she was officially retiring from the game of tennis and the WTA. In a press conference she stated, “It’s the right time for me. I never wanted to wait until my ranking dropped and I wouldn’t be able to go into the main draw. I always wanted to leave this sport [tennis] with a passion for it. Tennis has been such a big part of my life and always will be. If I were a man, I would never stop playing. But at age 29, I have to think about something else. I’m ready for the big change in my life. Still, it’s a very tough decision to make. Very emotional. I made the decision in the beginning of this season, so it was very hard coming to tournaments knowing it was my last one. It was very emotional for me to play the whole year.”
So she’s ready for big changes? What kind of changes is she talking about? Kids? A new career? Apparently she’s leaning towards have a family (kids) after retirement.
Dementieva plans on spending her sudden free time on studying – she’s been studying at one of the best universities in Moscow. She also says that she’ll be following the women’s tennis tour on TV, and hopes to congratulate the winners of the tournaments.
Dementieva reflected on her tennis career and mentioned this about her best tennis moments, “There are a couple of weeks I will never forget, like the first tournament I won in Amelia Island. I was waiting for that moment for a long time. I beat four top 10 players. I beat Justine [Henin] in the semifinals, saving match point… and then Lindsay [Davenport] in the final. It was so exciting. For sure I’ll remember all the Olympics – my first Olympics in Sydney with a silver medal, disaster in Athens, and the gold medal in Beijing. I will never forget it. That was the best week of my career.”
We hear a lot about players retiring and quitting the sport, and funny enough, we hear them announcing their comebacks a couple of years later. Perhaps we’ll see Dementieva again in a few years? Or perhaps she will stay retired.
Dementieva finishes her tennis career ranked #9 in the world, 16 career singles titles, 6 doubles titles, and just over $14 million dollars in career prize money.
We wish Elena Dementieva the best in her retirement and we hope that you enjoy your time away from tennis.
Photo by © Naomi Kaltman/Corbis Outline