Tennis - 26 year old Russian tennis player Anna Chakvetadze, who peaked at no. 5 in the rankings in 2007 has announced her retirement from the sport due to long-standing back injuries.
The Russian, who was often compared to Swiss superstar Martina Hingis for her ability to use court craft rather than power to win matches, won eight WTA Singles Titles and was a semi-finalist at the 2007 US Open.
Chakvetadze last played on the tour one year ago at the Tashkent Open where she came through the qualifying draw and reached the second round. But her injuries limited her to only 10 events in 2012. She currently has a ranking of no. 577 on the WTA Tour.
Chakvetadze's slide and problems in her career began in December 2007, when she was robbed at knifepoint in her own house. The Russian, then only 20 years old, was tied by six invaders who also beat her father and left their house with over U.S.$300,000 worth of goods and cash. While the physical injuries healed soon, the psychological scars haunted her for a long time and by the end of 2009, she was ranked no. 69 in the world. She also stood for election in the Russian State Duma with the Right Cause Party in 2011, but was not elected.
Chakvetadze's biggest win came when she won the Kremlin Cup Premier WTA event in 2006 and in 2007, she also reached the quarter-finals of the Australian and French Opens and the semi-finals of the season-ending WTA Tour Championships.
In an interview with Sports Express in Russia where she announced her retirement, Chakvetadze says, "I do not see myself more in professional tennis , so I am ready to say my career is over. Of course , it was a difficult decision , I have to suffer a little myself , but now I am finally matured . Because I realized that the point of return of tennis will not be - it was left behind. I have a chronic back injury that you do not want , and would stop over career. So I decided to stop and try something else . A new life"
Talking about her back injury, the Russian says, "In 2011, after a seven-month break I started training again , and my body was totally unprepared. Against the background of physical activities and I was injured , which only worsened the course of next season. And it happened during class PED when I threw the ball. Itself at the time felt that it was not ready physically and from the desire to quickly get into condition, probably overworked . For myself, I then realized that the most dangerous injuries that can affect the career of an athlete , we get during physical education classes . I was always looking to the future with optimism , and felt that I could get rid of all the problems. But to the extent that , as relapses occurred regularly , optimism diminished. And then it just got tired . During the period saw a number of doctors who are constantly telling me different things. I understand that it is their job , but I still like concrete - they are cured or not. And just a reality and was not. The doctors said , ' Let's try hormone injections, but we do not know how you'll feel in six months . " But after all tennis players need a full-fledged career . And do something with the idea - what if in six months you will be even worse , I was not ready. So I decided not to risk my health completely."
Talking about the 2007 robbery, she says, "After that, I has an absolutely disastrous season . Just robbed me at the wrong time ( laughs). After all, at that time was to take preparation for the season . And I've already signed a contract with the WTA Tour, I had obligations to the association , according to which I was to speak at certain events. So I played , even though I did not have , such as training, and I was not in shape. So yes - it's affected my future career . I revealed things I had never known before . Became deeper look into the essence of things ... (pause ) . I do not like injustice , but , unfortunately, in our world it exists. But what happened is what happened . Perhaps if all of this did not happen, at the moment I would have been different . I honestly thought at the time of the attack , there is everything for us , and will end, but we all survived . So fine - we live on."
Talking about her future plans, Chakvetadze says, "First of all , I want to try their hand at coaching . Plus I started to comment on the Tennis TV and I like it. Any thoughts on specific projects, but I have not yet fully codified it in his head. So I do not know how in the end everything will look like. I am currently a freelance artist , but I want to build a system. You see , for me, a very important result because I do not like to work for nothing. I want to see , well I 'm doing something or not. Here, for example , commenting on the tennis, I just get pleasure from the fact that the watch matches , express some of his thoughts and learning the craft from the good people"