Former Wimbledon and US Open doubles champion Vania King, who was scheduled to play her last doubles tournaments at Charleston, Indian Wells and Miami, says she is technically retired as the tennis tour has gone into shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic in an interview to the WTA Tour website.
All the three tournaments as well as other tennis tournaments until July 12th have been cancelled for now. The American won 1 WTA singles title and 15 WTA doubles titles in her career and peaked at No. 3 in the world doubles rankings.
King says, “Yeah so, I think I’m retired now? I’m not sure? I don’t know, but like technically I’m retired? I drove to Indian Wells because I’d played the [Oracle Challenger] 125K, but I grew up in Long Beach.
So I drove back home, before going back to Indian Wells on Sunday. I found out in a few hours that the tournament was canceled, and at that time it was a huge shock to everybody. I drove home and I was like, whoa, that’s one less tournament for me.
One less tournament until the end”. King's last tournament was the 125K Challenger event at Indian Wells where she partnered with former World No. 2 Vera Zvonareva and they reached the quarter-finals. King has been using the time off since to focus on her own non-profit organization and trying to help people affected by the coronavrius pandemic - which has also seen her get support from the WTA Charities amongst others.
“I know that there’s a lot of people in need and obviously as one person I can’t help everybody. But I figured if I could help a couple of people, then hopefully that could make a difference. Luckily on the financial side, I’m fine.
I’m lucky that I’m not struggling right now and I don’t have to work. But I think I’m privileged to be in this position, and privileged to still work with my non-profit stuff and be able to follow my passions that way”.
King says the current situation has also affected her plans to move to Australia permanently. "I have always loved Australia, ever since I was younger. When I thought about moving somewhere, Australia’s the only place where I was like, I could move here.
There’s always places that you love to visit on vacation, but you can’t stay there that long. Australia was always a place where I felt like I wanted to stay. I played the Hobart tournament this year, and then Melbourne of course, and it just reaffirmed my desire to move there”.
King already has an Australian permanent resident visa and says she is confident that she will move there eventually once the current crisis blows over. "I think this is… this was? Or is, or will be, the right time.
Who knows, our lives as tennis players have been so transient that who knows how long I’ll stay there. But I really want to give it a shot some day”.
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