Germany's former Wimbledon semi-finalist Julia Goerges has announced her retirement from tennis at the age of 31.
The Women's Tennis Association was quick to pay tribute on Wednesday to the power-serving German, who won seven tour titles during her career and made it into the game's top 10.
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“Julia's powerful playing style, exemplary sportsmanship and thoughtful nature made her a fantastic ambassador for women's tennis and a fan favourite around the world," said Steve Simon, chief executive of the WTA.
Goerges reached her highest ranking of ninth in 2018 and is still ranked 45th as she quits the game.
In a letter addressed to the game of tennis, Goerges wrote that she was “ready to say ‘goodbye’” after a 15-year pro career.
“I always knew how I would feel when it is time to say goodbye to you, and that moment has arrived,” she said.
“I am ready to close the tennis chapter of my life and open a new one, which I am really excited about.”
Goerges reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2018, losing in straight sets to Serena Williams.
She was runner-up in the mixed doubles at the French Open in 2014 alongside Nenad Zimonjic and was a finalist in the Fed Cup with Germany in 2014.
Tennis players and fans were left stunned by the sudden announcement.
Julia Goerges retired :( https://t.co/YQhz5OfNWh
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) October 21, 2020
My dear @juliagoerges, I just heard the news and wanted to dedicate you a few lines. First of all, congratulation on your fantastic career! We have experienced a lot of fun on and off the court, and I feel privileged that I had a chance to meet you! pic.twitter.com/BKsy1gLtdr
— Karolina Pliskova (@KaPliskova) October 21, 2020
Will miss you! Enjoy your next chapter 🤗💞
— Shelby Rogers (@Shelby_Rogers_) October 21, 2020
So sad to see the news that Julia Goerges has retired. She was always a great opponent for Simona, but they also had fun playing doubles together a couple times too. I wish her all the best in this new chapter in her life away from professional tennis. pic.twitter.com/D1kbwKuLau
— 🇷🇴WTA Romania🇷🇴 (@WTARomania) October 21, 2020
I am sad and startled that #Goerges decided to call it quits as a pro (she expressed earlier this month how excited she was to be back on the court playing at #RG20). Really enjoyed watching her game.
From 2018, my report on her title run in Luxembourg ⤵️https://t.co/K5V3THaATj
— Mert Ertunga (@MertovsTDesk) October 22, 2020
Julia Goerges retires
Sad day, but fantastic career to celebrate
Former WTA number 9th
12 WTA titles ( 7 singles, 5 doubles)
2018 Wimbledon semi finalist
— Chris Goldsmith (@TheTennisTalker) October 21, 2020
Tennis world erupts over Roger Federer announcement
Meanwhile, Roger Federer has delighted fans after announcing he’s on track to make his return to tennis at the Australian Open in January.
The 20-time grand slam champ says he is practising pain-free after undergoing two knee surgeries this year and says he expects to return to the circuit at Melbourne Park in January.
The 39-year-old Swiss reached the Australian Open semi-finals at the start of the year, but missed the rest of the season after undergoing a second arthroscopic procedure on his right knee.
“I'm on the right track,” Federer told German-language magazine Schweizer Illustrierte on Wednesday.
“I'm gradually coming back but I’m going to take my time and don’t want to put any pressure on myself.
“I will only take part in a tournament when I am 100 per cent fit.
“At the moment, it looks like I can make my comeback at the Australian Open in January.”
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