Sam Stosur announces retirement ahead of Australian Open

The 38-year-old made the tough announcement ahead of the Australian Open.

Sam Stosur (pictured right) waving to the Australian Open crowd and (pictured left) Stosur with partner Liz Astling.
Sam Stosur (pictured right) will play her final tournament at the Australian Open after announcing her retirement at the age of 38. (Getty Images)

Aussie tennis legend Sam Stosur has officially announced her retirement after she plays one final tournament at the Australian Open. Stosur has enjoyed a stellar career having won the 2011 US Open and was ranked World No.1 in doubles.

The 38-year-old announced her retirement from singles competition in May last year, but has continued to play doubles on the tour. And leading into her 21st Australian Open grand slam, Stosur said it was with 'mixed feelings' that she will call time on her tennis career.

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“I’m so excited to be back at Melbourne Park playing in my 21st Australian Open, but it’s with mixed feelings that I also share with you that this will be my last tournament,” Stosur wrote on Instagram. "I feel so happy and grateful to have the opportunity to finish playing at my favourite slam – my home slam – in front of my Aussie fans, friends and family.

"For now, I'm looking forward to getting on the court one last time in front of my amazing fans, who are the reason I go out there and play the sport I love, and enjoying this wonderful ride one last time."

Stosur's retirement from the sport sparked an emotional response from the tennis world. Stosur has been a mentor on the tour for many years and Aussie doubles great Rennae Stubbs paid her respects to the grand slam winner.

"I knew this was coming yet here I am, reading your words and crying my eyes out!" Stubbs wrote in reply to Stosur's post. "Sam, there isn't a person on tour that could say a bad word about you.

"Your class, professionalism, dedication and love & respect for the sport, your fellow competitors and the people around you, are unmatched. There will be a huge void out there on this crazy tour without you but my god was it a good place when you were in it.

"Watching you go from that unsure kid with talent, to a hall of fame career was a pleasure to witness. You have been a role model for so many and you should be beyond proud of that & the player you became but more importantly, the person you are."

Tennis world reacts to Sam Stosur's news

BJK Cup star Storm Hunter also paid tribute to the retiring great.

"We've been so lucky to have you as an amazing role model and inspiration Sammy," she wrote. The Australian Open account wrote: "Thanks for saving the last dance with us, Sam."

Others also added to her career tributes.

Stosur will feature with Matt Ebden in the mixed doubles, an event in which they reached the final two years ago, and still has hopes of gaining an eighth women's grand slam doubles crown alongside the ever-dramatic Alize Cornet.

with AAP

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