Concerns mount over Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai
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Former British No.1 Jo Konta has announced her retirement from professional tennis at the age of 30. Konta won her fourth WTA title at the Nottingham Open in June but was forced out of Wimbledon and the Olympics by Covid-19.
She reached three Grand Slam singles semi-finals – including Wimbledon in 2017 – but has been dogged by a chronic knee injury in recent seasons. Konta revealed her engagement to long-term boyfriend Jackson Wade earlier this year.
In a statement released today, Konta said she is “so incredibly grateful for [her] career” and “got to become what [she] wanted to be as a child’, before adding how ‘incredibly fortunate [she] counts [herself] to be”.
Konta started her own podcast during lockdown and has appeared as a pundit for Amazon Prime and as a panellist on Question of Sport.
Taking to social media on Wednesday morning, Konta wrote: “Grateful. This is the word that I’ve probably used the most during my career, and is the word that I feel explains it best at the end.
“My playing career has come to an end, and I am so incredibly grateful for the career that it turned out to be.
“All the evidence pointed towards me not ‘making’ it in this profession. However my luck materialised in the people that came into my life and impacted my existence in ways that transcended tennis,
“I am so incredibly grateful for those people. You know who you are.
“Through my own resilience and through the guidance of others, I got to live my dreams. I got to become what I wanted and said as a child.
“How incredibly fortunate I count myself to be. How grateful I am.”
Konta is currently ranked world No.113 and would have had to qualify for next month’s Australian Open.
It remains to be seen what she decides to do now, but plenty of well-wishers paid tribute to her upon the announcement.
The LTA tweeted: “A true inspiration to the next generation.”
And Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley added: “We will miss seeing you out there Jo, you’re an exceptional athlete and a leader in our sport. All the best with life post tennis, thank you for everything.
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