Former world number 5 sets to retire at the Australian Open

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Former world number 5 sets to retire at the Australian Open

The 31-year-old Lucie Safarova has announced that she will end her successful career at the next year's Australian Open, citing health issues that have been bothering her for a few years now. Lucie has been ranked inside the Top 100 between 2005-2017 and she competed in 17 singles and 19 doubles finals, winning seven singles and 15 doubles WTA crowns.

2015 was her best season in singles, entering the Top 5 and reaching the Roland Garros final that she lost to Serena Williams in three sets, having a chance to play at the WTA Finals at the end of that season. Her last singles title came in Prague in 2016 and she struggled with injuries ever since to drop put from the Top 100 this September for the first time since May 2005! In August last year, Lucie had become world number 1 in doubles and she claimed five Major doubles crowns with Bethanie Mattek-Sands between 2015-17 at every tournament except Wimbledon where she was the quarter-finalist three times, including 2018.

Despite those great results in 2015, Safarova was forced to end her season with just two wins after New Haven due to a bacterial infection that required hospitalization. She won that title in Prague in 2016 but the year was not that great overall as she failed to find her old form before returning to the winning way in 2017 and cracking the Top 30 again.

Nonetheless, her health issues were back in 2018 and she competed at only 11 WTA tournaments, winning just 10 matches (six at Majors) and dropping out from the Top 100 for the first time in 13 and a half years. Lucie has decided she has had enough and she will play both singles and doubles in Melbourne before ending her career, unwilling to play smaller tournaments or in the qualifying rounds after 15 years on the Tour.

Lucie would love to return to tennis as a coach or agent but only after taking some rest and switch her focus to other things in life. Lucie is the winner of the Fed Cup Commitment Award, playing for her country for 13 years and winning two singles rubbers in the final against Serbia in 2012.