Former world number five Daniela Hantuchova has announced her retirement from tennis at the age of 34, following a professional career that lasted 18 years.
The Slovak, who was one of the most popular players on the WTA tour during her prime, won seven singles titles and reached a career high of fifth on the rankings back in 2003, as well as having success in both doubles and mixed doubles.
Hantuchova announced via a post on her Facebook account and a video on Twitter that she had decided to call time on her career, which started back in 1999. Her career earnings of $10,360,596 in those 18 years put her at 33rd on the all-time earnings list.
Hantuchova had a solid career in singles, winning seven WTA Tour titles and reaching a further nine finals. The biggest titles of her career came at Indian Wells, where she won her first title in 2002, where she beat Martina Hingis in the final, and her second title in 2007, where she beat Svetlana Kuznetsova. Her last WTA singles title came in Thailand back in 2015, where she overcame Ajia Tomljanovic in three sets.
Throughout her career, the Slovak also collected an impressive 33 top-ten victories, with the most impressive arguably being a straight sets win over then world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the third round of the 2011 French Open. Hantuchova reached the fourth round in Paris four times, though was a quarterfinalist at the US Open and Wimbledon, and a semifinalist at the Australian Open.
Hantuchova also had an impressive doubles career, reaching a career high of fifth in the doubles rankings and reaching three Grand Slam finals, losing with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the 2002 Australian Open final, and partnering Ai Sugiyama to reach the finals of the 2006 French Open and 2009 Australian Open final. However, she won nine doubles titles in her career and also completed the career Grand Slam title in mixed doubles, winning the French and US Open finals in 2005, Wimbledon in 2001, and the Australian Open in 2002.
Hantuchova says a fond farewell to the tour
In a statement on Facebook, the former world number five said that “the time has come” for her to retire from the sport, though expressed that it was not a goodbye and that she would still be heavily involved in the sport.
The Slovak stated that playing in on the WTA Tour, and having the opportunity to play in events such as the Olympics and the Fed Cup had been “the biggest blessing and a privilege”, summing up her career overall as an “incredible journey.”
Following her announcement, several past and present players commented on Hantuchova’s career. Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, who is currently working with the Slovak on Fox Sports Asia’s coverage of the tournament, described her as “an amazing human being”, whilst Todd Woodbridge described her as “one of the nicest women in tennis.”
Also, Hantuchova’s countrywoman Magdalena Rybarikova, who beat third seed Karolina Pliskova earlier today, expressed her surprise at the announcement, commenting, “She was my idol. When I played Fed Cup at 16 I didn’t even know how to talk to her.”