WTA chief leads tributes to 'great ambassador' Ivanovic

By Christopher Devine 28 December 2016
WTA chief leads tributes to 'great ambassador' Ivanovic

Ana Ivanovic has been hailed for her efforts on and off the tennis court after announcing her retirement at the age of 29.

In a video broadcast on her official Facebook page on Wednesday, Ivanovic confirmed she had brought an end to her career, citing recent struggles with injury as the reason for her decision.

WTA CEO and chairman Steve Simon paid tribute to the 2008 French Open winner, who has served as a UNICEF ambassador to Serbia since 2007 and was also nominated for the U.S. Secretary of State's 2007 International Women of Courage Award.

"Ana is a true champion and a great ambassador for the sport of women's tennis," said Simon.

"She has contributed greatly to the entire sport, both in her home country of Serbia and across the globe.

"She will certainly be missed on our tour as she is not only one of a very select few that achieved the WTA number-one ranking but is also one of the most respected players on tour."

One of only 21 players to have reached the top of the WTA rankings, Ivanovic won 15 career titles and 480 matches on tour.

Boris Becker was among several leading names in tennis to pay tribute to the Serbian, tweeting: "Respect for @AnaIvanovic decision to retire from tennis on her own terms! You should be very proud of your achievements! #1."

Caroline Wozniacki, another former number one in the women's game, tweeted: "Will miss you on tour, but excited for you and what your new chapter has to bring. See you soon!!", while Petra Kvitova wrote: "We will miss seeing your smile on the court! Fighter, professional, great person. Enjoy your post-tennis life, Ana."

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