Players leave their game of passion to find satisfaction in retirement


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Players leave their game of passion to find satisfaction in retirement

It was last year that Poland's top woman player, Aga Radwanska retired after injuries and many lackluster performances. She had expressed her feelings to say "Taking into consideration my health and the heavy burdens of professional tennis...I'm not able to push my body to the limits..."

Radwanska felt the pressure of playing day after day saying that she is "no longer able to train and play the way I used to." But her sentiments were echoed among many players that are at the crossroads of leaving the sport they've played since childhood.

Today Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro will hang up her rackets after the 2020 season. "I want to enjoy one last season with the same professionalism as always...My desire is clear: to be proud of this last effort when I reach the end of the road."

Carla, as well as many players, strive to do other things and saying "..I notice that the time has come to enjoy other areas of life. Tennis will always be in me." At 31 years old, she is ranked 55 in the world and has seen herself just four years ago in the top 10 WTA player.

Caroline Wozniacki's announcement on television's 'Good Morning America' days ago that she will retire after 2020 Australian Open might have been a shock to some audience members that aren't totally ingrained into tennis.

She was diagnosed a while back with rheumatoid arthritis and says "there are times you can't get out of bed." This situation among other things must have left her no other choice. She's gotten married to NBA baller David Lee and says her announcement "..just felt right in my heart.

Just gonna take this to the next chapter." She laughs saying she's nearly beaten everybody, has run the NYC Marathon years ago and says "When I leave I still want to love the sport." It was for Dominika Cibulkova at 30, the end was Roland Garros in May.

"I was 100 percent sure...I knew I wanted to do it like this...I went home and was happy with my decision. It's really hard to make it, but once you do, you feel freer." The relief for her wasn't only mental, but physical.

Cibulkova had been plagued with recurring Achilles injuries and knew her time was coming soon. The Slovak may be calling it an end to tennis, but has invested in a tennis academy, a nightclub and has written a memoir of her tennis career.

She's held eight WTA titles and the 2016 Tour Finals as well as about $14 million in career prize money. Spain's David Ferrer called ended his 19-year career at the Madrid Open in May. He was a trooper who throughout injuries and difficult matches left it all out there on the court despite the outcome.

Just recently he's been named as the new tournament director of the Barcelona Open. He's to replace former ATP player Albert Costa who's held the director position for eleven years. Ferrer has expressed that being a tournament director is "an unimaginable achievement for years and a great exciting challenge in my life as an athlete and tennis lover."

Greece's Marcos Baghdatis came on the scene in the 2006 Australian Open. He was discovered by Serena Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou. Known to be a gritty and unconventional player, Baghdatis ended his 13-year career on the grassy knolls of Wimbledon with a wild card in 2019.

He'd win 4 titles but so many injuries that left him out of the courts sometimes for a year. During the Rio Olympics he suffered from an elbow injury but stated that "It is clear unless I am 100 percent fit and healthy to compete, I shall not participate...because I would be doing injustice to my country."

Janko Tipsarevic, the 35-year-old Serb retired this year, spending two years in the Top 10 in the world. He ended his career at the Stockholm Open and has started the Tipsarevic Academy in Belgrade. Janko plans to expand the Academy to four other countries.

When asked why he decided to retire he sadly says that "..in the last five years--seven surgeries down my legs..." Tipsarevic has learned to be grateful now for his health and to enjoy things. He had mentioned that five years after all the surgeries he'd say "Hey I earned enough money.

I'm going to buy some real estate and enjoy my life." "I had a great career, but my health doesn't allow me to continue," Czech singles and doubles player Lucie Safarova had expressed at the time she decided to retire in June of this year.

She had accumulated 15 doubles titles but somehow became just as proficient in her singles game. Lucie had racked up 7 singles titles, and 5 Grand Slam doubles with longtime friend and partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands. She had many injuries, viral and bacterial infections hospitalizing her for over a few weeks.

Safarova finished off her career basically due to health conditions and for one season starred in Tennis Channel's 'My Tennis Life' first season. Steve Darcis, Tomas Berdych and Nicolas Almagro have joined the list of retiring players and the list may grow by the end of the month and even into the new 2020 season.

The reason for retiring is quite the same for many. Most are the injuries in combination with not being able to consistently win over their tough and much younger opponents. Retirement oftentimes is a welcomed relief than a horrible decision that they are forced to make.