Australian tennis great Samantha Stosur has confirmed she will retire from singles tennis after the Australian Open.
The 37-year-old former grand slam champion had hinted at retiring earlier in December, but confirmed her run at Melbourne Park in January would be her last in singles competition.
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Announcing the move on Instagram, Stosur said she would compete in doubles for the rest of 2022 before moving on to new challenges.
Reaching a career-high of world No.4 in 2011, the same year she defeated Serena Williams to win the US Open, Stosur will undoubtedly go down as one of the greats of Australian tennis.
She said she was thankful to have the chance to bow out in front of a home crowd, thanking Tennis Australia in a statement posted on her Instagram page.
“I’m so excited and very grateful to play in my 20th AO in a couple of weeks’ time,” she wrote.
“A huge thank you to @tennisaustralia for giving me this opportunity to finish my singles career at my home Grand Slam.
“It really means a lot to me to be able to finish in front of my family, friends and Aussie fans who have stuck by me through thick and thin.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a mix of emotions but I wouldn’t want it any other way as I always thought I’d finish playing in Australia.
“I do however plan to play the rest of the year in doubles but this will close the first chapter of my career.”
Stosur's achievements have only really been eclipsed recently with the rise of Ash Barty.
The 37-year-old was one of the most consistent players on tour for years, holding a place in the top 10 between 2010 and 2013 - an impressive stretch by any measure.
She made it to one other grand slam final, at Roland Garros in 2010, and was a semi-finalist on three other occasions.
COVID-hit Bencic backs Aussie Open tilt
Olympic tennis champion Belinda Bencic has tested positive for COVID-19 but is still backing herself to play next month's Australian Open.
Switzerland's Bencic and Tunisian Ons Jabeur on Tuesday confirmed they had both tested positive following their trip to Abu Dhabi, a day after Rafa Nadal revealed he had the virus.
Bencic, Jabuer and Nadal had travelled to the UAE capital to play in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition event last week.
Bencic lost at Abu Dhabi to Jabeur, who had replaced US Open champion Emma Raducanu after the Briton tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrew.
Both Bencic and Jabeur said they were fully vaccinated and were experiencing strong symptoms.
"Unfortunately and even though I am fully vaccinated, I recently tested positive for COVID-19," Bencic said on Twitter.
However, Bencic was quietly confident of contesting the new year's opening slam which starts in Melbourne on January 17.
"I am currently isolating and taking all precautionary (measures) to get through this as best as possible as I am experiencing quite severe symptoms (fever, aches, chills)," Bencic posted.
"While the timing is not ideal - as I was in the final stages of my preparations for the Australian Open swing - I will make my way to Australia as soon as I am cleared and past the isolation period."
Bencic said she was isolating in Tunisia.
Earlier, Nadal also said he was having some "unpleasant moments" after testing positive upon his return to Spain.
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