Elena Dementieva announced that she is retiring from tennis today from the WTA Championships in Doha. The 29-year-old is a two-time Major finalist, Olympic singles gold medalist and favorite candidate in the “best player to never win a Major” category.
She broke the news on-court, after losing her final round robin match in straight sets to Francesca Schiavone. It was obviously planned, with her fellow WTA players coming on court to support her, a crystal award and a speech by WTA CEO Stacey Allaster.
Here’s some video from the ceremony. Yahoo has one without the translation – click here.
Vera Zvonareva, never known for her emotional reserve, welled up as she spoke for the Russian players: “Russia is proud of you, and proud of what you have done. Not only for Russian tennis, but for Russian sport you have been an inspiration.” (via AFP) Lisa Raymond looked pretty devastated, as well.
Interesting that Stacey Allaster said “don’t stay away too long.” Hinting at the possibility of a Clijsters/Henin/Hingis, perhaps? At the very least, someone should start considering putting together a WTA seniors tour sometime soon.
I’m going to miss Elena. She’s one of those great, dangerous players who could often make match of things against almost anyone. I was also entertained by her Yonex rompers and funky serve (and really, she did improve it quite a lot these past few years.)
Source: Tennis.com Ticker