Tennis

Benesova retires from WTA tour after 16 pro seasons

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The Sports Network
8/15/2014 12:58:45 PM
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Iveta Melzer (nee Benesova) retired from professional tennis this week.

Benesova, known to tennis fans for many years as Iveta Benesova before marrying ATP star and fellow left-hander Jurgen Melzer in 2012, announced her retirement from the game after 16 years as a pro.

The 31-year-old announced the news on her Facebook page.

"So this is the end of my journey as a professional tennis player. This wasn't an easy decision because tennis has been my life since I was a little girl, but it's about the right time. I feel it in my heart. Being out for over a year and still facing continuous shoulder problems has not been easy for me, so this thought has been on my mind for some time. The truth is also that after so many years on tour, it is hard for me to find the determination or desire to make tennis my number one priority in life.

"So deep down inside me I know that this is the right time for me to move on."

Melzer's career was highlighted by a pair of WTA titles in Acapulco in 2004 and Fes, Morocco, in 2010, a career-high ranking of No. 25 in 2009, and a more-than-respectable 14 WTA doubles titles, including 10 with good friend and fellow Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. She also reached six other WTA singles finals, but perhaps the most meaningful of all was winning a Grand Slam mixed doubles title at Wimbledon in 2011 -- with her soon-to-be hubby.

Unfortunately for Melzer, she never reached a Grand Slam singles quarterfinal.

The aforementioned shoulder injury derailed her career in 2012. And after a year-and-a-half out of action, Melzer returned earlier this year and played in five more tournaments, without much success, going 0-5, including what turned out to be her final match, a loss against American Coco Vandeweghe at the French Open.

Jurgen Melzer and Iveta Benesova (Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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