Mon, Jan 23, 2017 | updated 01:53 AM IST

Tennis star Ana Ivanovic retires at 29

Updated: Dec 29, 2016 13:20 IST

London [United Kingdom], Dec.29 (ANI): Former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic has announced her retirement from tennis.

Ana, 29, said that she no longer feels fit enough to compete at the highest level.

Ivanovic became the first Serbian woman to win a grand slam tournament when she beat Russian Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-3 in the 2008 French Open final, following in the footsteps of compatriot Novak Djokovic who clinched the Australian Open title the same year.

Dubbed Aussie Ana during her charge to the 2008 Open final, Ivanovic was the darling of Melbourne Park as she cradled koalas and celebrated her grand slam run with a family barbecue on Australia Day.

She was a long-time favourite of Australian fans, as she had aunts, uncles and cousins residing in Melbourne, Ivanovic spent her early years preparing for the Open on Sydney's northern beaches with her Australian trainer Scott Byrnes.

But at 29 and having slipped to 63rd in the rankings after being dogged by injuries, Ivanovic decided to quit.

"This has been a difficult decision but there has been so much to celebrate. I began dreaming of tennis when I was five and saw Monica Seles play on TV. My parents backed me all the way, and by the time I was ranked No.1 in the world and won Roland Garros in 2008, I've seen the heights I've never dreamt of achieving. But seeing those highs demands top physical form and it's well-known that I have been hampered by injuries. I can only play on if I can perform to my own high standards and I can no longer do that, so it is time to move on." ," she posted on Facebook.

Ivanovic endured one of her toughest years in 2016, her last match a first-round loss at the US Open in September.

Ivanovic is married to German football superstar Bastian Schweinsteiger. She said that love for the sport of tennis would always be very close to her heart. (ANI)