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."
Arsenal transfer latest: Arsene Wenger set to sign...no one on transfer deadline day as manager heads to Rome to referee charity match
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal offloads fringe players as he looks to the long term
Radamel Falcao transfer latest: Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City linked with blockbuster move
Tottenham to offer Andros Townsend to Southampton in £14m deadline day bid for Jay Rodriguez
Radamel Falcao to Manchester United: Striker hasn't played in Champions League since 2010
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court