'Nothing beats that feeling': Sporting stars announce birth of first child

·Sports Editor

Czech tennis star Lucie Safarova has announced the birth of her first child - a daughter named Lea.

The former French Open finalist took to social media on Monday to announce the news, posting a beautiful snap of her daughter’s tiny hand being held by hers and partner Thomas Plekanec’s.

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"I woke up this morning as a mom...nothing beats that feeling! Welcome to our family Lea," Safarova wrote.

Safarova’s early retirement

Plekanec is a former NHL player, while Safarova retired after the 2018 Australian Open due to health concerns.

“I had a great career but my health doesn't allow me to continue,” Safarova said at the time.

Safarova said her decision was forced by health problems that had marred her career in recent years, but didn’t elaborate.

Lucie Safarova, pictured here at the 2018 US Open.
Lucie Safarova at the 2018 US Open. (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

She won seven WTA singles titles and 15 doubles titles, including five Grand Slams with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Safarova reached her highest singles ranking, No. 5, in 2015, and was top-ranked in the doubles in 2017.

Safarova reached the French Open final in 2015 - losing to Serena Williams - and the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2014.

She teamed with Barbora Strycova to win bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and helped the Czechs win four Fed Cup titles.

with AP