Former British number one Anne Keothavong announces retirement

The 29-year-old is to join BT Sport

Amidst all the excitement generated by the recent emergence of Laura Robson and Heather Watson it would be easy to overlook the contribution made by Anne Keothavong, who has announced her retirement.

The last 20 years have been a particularly lean spell for the women's game in Britain, but in Keothavong Britain found a player who at least competed regularly on the highest stage. When she reached her career-high position of No 48 in the world rankings in 2009 Keothavong was the first British woman to break into the top 50 for 16 years. In the same year she reached the semi-finals at the Warsaw tournament, which was the best result by a British player at a Premier level clay-court event since Jo Durie made the last four of the French Open in 1983.

In total Keothavong reached seven semi-finals on the main tour without ever reaching a final. She won 20 singles titles on the International Tennis Federation circuit and eight in doubles, while she was also a mainstay of Britain's Fed Cup team.

With more consistency Keothavong might have gone on to enjoy an even more successful career. However, she always showed great professionalism, particularly in making two comebacks from major knee surgery. Her longevity was demonstrated by her 13 consecutive appearances in the main draw at Wimbledon, though the US Open was the scene of her best run at a Grand Slam event when she made the third round in 2008.

Having realised a lifetime's ambition by competing at last year's Olympics, Keothavong has slipped down the rankings in the last 12 months. Her retirement at the age of 29 is no surprise given that media opportunities have opened up for her recently. Later this year she will be joining the team covering tennis for BT Sport.

“I have given my decision a lot of thought and I believe this is the right time to move on to the next stage of my career,” Keothavong said. “I have had some magical moments along the way and I would like to thank my family for their unwavering support and encouragement, the LTA for their fantastic backing, my coach Jeremy Bates and also Nigel Sears, who have both been very influential in my tennis career and of course, the great tennis fans in Britain and all over the world.

"I think I am leaving tennis in excellent shape with both Laura Robson and Heather Watson leading the way for Britain in the women's game."

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high