Czech star Safarova retiring after Australian Open
PRAGUE (AP) — Former French Open finalist Lucie Safarova will retire after the Australian Open in January due to health concerns and will not play in any tournaments before then.
The 31-year-old Safarova announced her decision on Saturday in Prague before the Fed Cup final between the Czech Republic and United States.
“I had a great career but my health doesn’t allow me to continue,” Safarova said.
She helped the Czechs win four Fed Cup titles but is not in the current team.
Safarova said her decision was forced by health problems that have marred her career in recent years. She didn’t elaborate. She will play the singles and doubles in Melbourne.
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 semifinals in 2014.
She teamed with Barbora Strycova to win bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
After the French Open in 2015, Safarova had to be hospitalized with an unspecified bacteria infection. She ended prematurely last season due to tendon inflammation. This season, a virus, bacteria infection and recurring joint pain allowed her to play only 11 tournaments.