WTA

Carla Suarez Navarro to retire after 2020 WTA season

By Sports Desk December 03, 2019

Carla Suarez Navarro has announced the 2020 WTA season will be the last of her career.

The former world number six is a seven-time grand slam quarter-finalist and has won two WTA singles titles in her career.

Suarez Navarro reached the final of the doubles at the WTA Finals in 2015 alongside Spanish compatriot Garbine Muguruza, suffering defeat to Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza.

The 31-year-old is ranked 55th in the world, having won 18 of her 36 matches in 2019, a year in which she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon before losing to Serena Williams in straight sets.

"The 2020 season will be my last year in the professional tennis circuit," said Suarez Navarro. "The sport has been a fundamental part of my life - it has given me immense joy and I cannot be more grateful for all the experiences that it has allowed me to live.

"At this time, I notice that the time has come to complete a beautiful chapter and begin to enjoy other areas of life. Tennis will always be in me.

"Tennis right now has a very high demand. To be high in the ranking you need absolute consistency, a world-class level of physical conditioning and a 24-hour daily psychological commitment.

"I have been in high competition for more than 15 years and have lived through these realities since the beginning of my adolescence. These are lessons that have formed me as a person and that will serve me for a lifetime.

"I want to enjoy one last season with the same professionalism as always. I am going to do a quality preparation, my whole team is going to travel with me from the month of January and I plan to compete until the end of the season. My desire is clear: to be proud of this last effort when I reach the end of the road."

Related items

  • Coronavirus: French Open planning for 50-60 per cent fan attendance Coronavirus: French Open planning for 50-60 per cent fan attendance

    French Open organisers are planning for this year's event to go ahead with spectators present at a level between 50 and 60 per cent of full capacity.

    The grand slam event in Paris is scheduled to take place between September 27 and October 11.

    It was recently pushed back by one week as the ATP Tour and WTA Tour announced their schedules to return, the tournament having initially been postponed from its May start date due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    When confirming the new date in June, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) had expressed their determination to admit fans, with the number depending on the outcome of talks with public authorities.

    Having held those discussions, the tournament set a target of 50 to 60 per cent of capacity on Thursday, as they confirmed ticket sales will open to the general public on July 16, with priority purchasers having the chance to buy from July 9.

    "The Roland Garros tournament announces the opening of the ticket and specifies its conditions for welcoming visitors," read a statement.

    "The French Tennis Federation – which is acting responsibly and in close collaboration with the French government authorities, while benefiting from the advice of a committee of multi-disciplinary experts – is adapting and will continue to adapt to the situation caused by the Covid-19 crisis." 

    Explaining the measures, the statement continued: "On the three show courts, the tiered seating will follow a precise protocol: on every row, one seat will be left empty between every group of purchasers (a maximum of 4 people who wish to sit in adjacent seats). 

    "On the outside courts, every other seat will be out of bounds, and spectators may sit in any of the available seats. This way, the number of spectators allowed inside the stadium will be 50% to 60% of its usual capacity, allowing us to ensure the barrier measures are respected.

    "The FFT will adapt the way spectators move around inside the stadium in order to ensure that the barrier measures and social distancing are respected." 

    Also confirmed were rules around cleaning standards, a commitment to ensure social distancing in areas around the grounds and instructing fans to wear marks while moving around the stadiums, with coverings recommended at other times too.

    Strict protocols surrounding players and their entourage are due to follow, while the number of fans in attendance could end up being higher or lower than the current target range.

    "If the situation continues to improve, more tickets may be put on sale at the beginning of September," added the statement. 

    "However, if the situation requires more stringent hygiene standards that force us to reduce the number of spectators on site, the tournament organisers will refund any supplementary tickets sold."

  • Kyrgios hits back at Becker's 'rat' accusations over Zverev blast Kyrgios hits back at Becker's 'rat' accusations over Zverev blast

    Nick Kyrgios has hit back at Boris Becker after the German legend branded him a "rat" over his public criticism of Alexander Zverev.

    World number seven Zverev was labelled as "selfish" by Kyrgios after he was apparently spotted partying despite vowing to self-isolate.

    Zverev took part in the Adria Tour where several players, including world number one Novak Djokovic, tested positive for coronavirus and, although he returned a negative result himself, promised to isolate, with guidelines recommending 14 days.

    Becker, a winner of six grand slams, called out Kyrgios' public criticism, leading to the duo exchanging a few virtual volleys on Twitter.

    "We all live in the pandemic called #Covid_19 ! It's terrible and it killed to many lives...we should protect our families/loved ones and follow the guidelines but still don't like #rats @NickKyrgios," Becker wrote on Twitter.

    Kyrgios defended himself, writing: "Rats? For holding someone accountable? Strange way to think of it champion, I'm just looking out for people. WHEN my family and families all over the world have respectfully done the right thing. And you have a goose waving his arms around, imma say something."

    The argument was not done there, though, with Becker once again repeating his earlier insult.

    "Don't like no #rats ! Anybody telling off fellow sportsman/woman is no friend of mine! Look yourself in the mirror and think your better than us...@NickKyrgios."

    To which Kyrgios responded: "For goodness sake Boris, I'm not competing or trying to throw anyone under the bus. It's a global pandemic and if someone is as idiotic as Alex to do what he has done, I'll call him out for it. Simple."

    The back-and-forth exchange did not end there, with Kyrgios saying Becker is a "bigger doughnut than I thought" and he "can hit a volley, obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed though".

    Becker continued the argument, with the retort: "Your [sic] funny guy ....how is it down under? Respect all the guidelines?" before somewhat bizarrely attempting to change tact.

    "I really would like to see @NickKyrgios fulfil his potential and win a grand slam! He would be an incredible role model for the youth of the world addressing the issues of equality/race/heritage! Man up buddy and deliver!" Becker commented.

    Kyrgios, though, was in little mood to change the topic of discussion.

    "Why are you now talking about tennis? It has nothing to do with tennis? How about the dude who you are defending mans up and gives us some sort of explanation? Not another average management apology," he wrote.

  • Wimbledon 2020: Ladies and gentlemen, play is suspended... but 2021 should be epic Wimbledon 2020: Ladies and gentlemen, play is suspended... but 2021 should be epic

    Wimbledon should have been getting under way on Monday and the queue would have been building all weekend long, a tented village of flag-waving, gin-swigging tennis diehards doing whatever it takes to land a prized ticket.

    The practice courts would have been bustling, news conferences with the world's elite players running all day Saturday and into Sunday, and the first bumper delivery of fresh strawberries would have arrived fresh from the fields of Kent.

    Elite athletes and their entourages would have been milling around the grounds, before at 10.30am on Monday morning the paying spectators would have been released from their holding bay, many racing straight to the grass bank that is officially named Aorangi Terrace but better known as Henman Hill.

    And at 11.30am, the first players would have been walking on court, the championships getting under way. To be there at such a time is a delicious thrill, the waiting over, the grounds teeming, the first points being played, and the anticipation escalating as to what might unfold over the next fortnight.

    Yet this year Wimbledon was all quiet across the weekend; thousands did not queue for tickets; the line painters, the stewards, and the ball boys and ball girls stayed at home; and a whole lot more strawberry jam is being produced in England this year than last.

    The 2020 championships were cancelled on April 1, the only reasonable decision available to the All England Club amid the coronavirus pandemic, but organisers are already preparing for next year's return.

    And from the plot lines that are already emerging, it is clear we can expect a classic Wimbledon.

    A farewell to great champions?

    There is the very real prospect of tennis losing a huddle of its biggest stars practically all at once, with anyone that was considering bowing out this year surely now giving the glad eye to 2021.

    Roger Federer will be just weeks short of his 40th birthday by next year's Wimbledon, and the same applies to Serena Williams, whose sister Venus will already be 41.

    Andy Murray will be a relatively young 34 but his body has taken a battering, the Scot desperate to play more grand slams but also realistic enough to know there may not be many left for him. He longs for another Wimbledon, maybe just one more.

    Between them, that quartet have won 22 Wimbledon singles titles, and all four could choose the 2021 tournament as their opportunity to bid farewell to the All England Club.

    It's going to be an emotional tournament in any case, if we are back to normal, but if there are goodbyes to be said too, the championships promise to be one packed with indelible memories, and so many tears.

    The magic numbers

    Serena Williams has lost each of the past two Wimbledon women's finals and has been stuck on 23 grand slams since winning the 2017 Australian Open, agonisingly one short of Margaret Court's record.

    Could Wimbledon be where Williams matches or even passes Court's total? The American remains the player to beat at Wimbledon, and her hunger for grand slam success has not remotely diminished over time.

    There can be little doubt she is playing not purely for the love of it, but because of the thrill of the chase, and Williams might wind up disappointed at the end of her career, still marooned one adrift.

    But what a story it would be if Williams were to win another Wimbledon, the last of her thirties. Don't put anything past her.

    And the race to finish as the all-time leader on the men's side keeps rolling, a devil of a duty to predict who will come out on top between Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

    Another Wimbledon win for any of them could take on momentous significance in that respect.

    A new men's Centre Court king, at last?

    The last player to win the Wimbledon's men's singles, besides the 'Big Four' of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray, was Lleyton Hewitt in 2002.

    And while the era of those four great players dominating in SW19 has been one to treasure, seeing a new champion crowned would be rather special.

    There have been nine winners of the women's singles over the same period of time, multiple champions among them but also terrific one-off stories such as Marion Bartoli's triumph, the 17-year-old Maria Sharapova's big breakthrough, Amelie Mauresmo's great achievement, and the unbridled joy of Simona Halep last year.

    Certainly there is so much to admire about the quartet that have ruled the men's singles, but a little novelty feels overdue.

    Those queueing up to form a new dominant group need to push themselves forward, rather than play a waiting game.

    Gauff gunning for major breakthrough

    Gauff gunning for major breakthrough

    What a revelation Coco Gauff became last year, defeating her great hero Venus Williams and reaching the fourth round, where it took eventual champion Halep to halt the 15-year-old's run.

    She dramatically followed up by reaching the third round of the US Open and then round four of the Australian Open at the start of this year.

    Between those two grand slams, Gauff also landed her first WTA title, in Linz, Austria, where she became the youngest winner on tour for 15 years.

    The American teenager is the real deal, that much is clear, and she has a bright future.

    Gauff demonstrated wisdom beyond her years off the court in early June with a terrific, powerful address at a Black Lives Matter rally in her Florida home town of Delray Beach.

    May she return many times to Wimbledon.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.