Dellacqua retires from professional tennis

11 April 2018

TENNIS: Casey Dellacqua has brought down the curtain on a glittering 16-year pro career that featured a top-30 singles ranking, seven WTA doubles titles, two Olympic Games and Grand Slam success.

“It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now, and I definitely feel it’s the right time to hang up the racquets,” Dellacqua said in a video message posted to her Facebook page on Tuesday.

“It’s time for me to be a mum and it’s time for me to spend time with my family, particularly while my kids are young.

“I’ve been so fortunate to have a great career doing what I absolutely love, and fulfilling my childhood dream of being a professional athlete.”

The West Australian, who recently turned 33, goes out on a high, still ranked inside the world’s top 10 in doubles (at No.9), 16 years after turning pro in 2002.

In her last professional match, Dellacqua combined with Ash Barty to deliver Australia a thrilling 3-2 victory over Ukraine, winning the deciding doubles rubber in Canberra in the first round of World Group II in February.

Casey Dellacqua celebrates her doubles victory with Ash Barty to hand Australia a 3-2 victory over Ukraine in the Fed Cup World Group II first round in February 2018; Getty Images

A popular personality on tour, the left-hander enjoyed an impressive singles career, peaking at world No.26 in September 2014 and claiming wins over several big names including Amelie Mauresmo, Patty Schnyder, Nicole Vaidisova, Marion Bartoli, Sam Stosur, Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina.

She became a beloved star in her home nation with a breakout run to the fourth round of Australian Open 2008, and repeated the feat six years later at the same event – her most successful Grand Slam tournament in singles.

But it was in doubles where she truly shone; Dellacqua won the mixed doubles title at Roland Garros in 2011 with Scott Lipsky, and reached seven Grand Slam women’s doubles finals – four of them with Barty. In February 2016 she rose to a career-high doubles ranking of world No.3.

A loyal Fed Cup representative, Dellacqua played 21 ties dating back to 2006 and compiled a 19-9 win-loss record, going a sparkling 13-4 in doubles.

She also represented Australia at Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Dellacqua battled numerous injuries throughout her career, demonstrating a remarkable ability to rebound and flourish despite physical setbacks.

Left shoulder surgery effectively wiped out her 2009 season and a right foot injury, also requiring surgery, restricted her to just one tournament in an 11-month span beginning March 2010.

Perhaps the most serious was a nasty concussion sustained in a fall during a doubles match in Beijing in October 2015. With physical effects lingering for several months and her mental wellbeing affected, Dellacqua barely played in 2016, and made the decision upon her comeback to end her singles career and focus solely on doubles.

Returning at the Brisbane International in 2017, Dellacqua embarked on one of her finest seasons. Playing almost exclusively with Barty, she finished the year with a 36-14 record, winning three titles, reaching the Roland Garros final and debuting at the prestigious season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore.

Tennis Australia

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