Caroline Wozniacki, a former world number one on the WTA Tour, has announced she will retire from professional tennis following next month's Australian Open.

In a lengthy Instagram post on Friday, the 29-year-old Dane, who claimed grand slam glory at Melbourne Park in 2018, said she had "accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court".

Last year, Wozniacki revealed she had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune disease that causes swelling of the joints and fatigue.

However, she insisted her retirement was not due to health reasons, but rather her desire to focus on a series of matters away from tennis.

"I've played professionally since I was 15 years old," Wozniacki wrote. "In that time, I've experienced an amazing first chapter of my life. With 30 WTA singles titles, a world #1 ranking of 71 weeks, a WTA Finals victory, 3 Olympics [appearances], including carrying the flag for my native Denmark, and winning the 2018 Australian Open grand slam championship, I've accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court.

"I've always told myself, when the time comes, that there are things away from tennis that I want to do more, then it's time to be done.

"In recent months, I've realised that there is a lot more in life that I'd like to accomplish off the court. Getting married to David [Lee, the former NBA star] was one of those goals and starting a family with him while continuing to travel the world and helping raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis [project upcoming] are all passions of mine moving forward.

"So with that, today I am announcing that I will be retiring from professional tennis after the Australian Open in January. This has nothing to do with my health and this isn't a goodbye, I look forward to sharing my exciting journey ahead with all of you!"

"Finally, I want to thank with all my heart, the fans, my friends, my sponsors, my team, especially my father as my coach, my husband, and my family for decades of support! Without all of you I could have never have done this!"

A Melbourne swansong represents a fitting finale for Wozniacki, given the city played host to her greatest triumph.

Having twice suffered the pain of defeat in a grand slam final, at the 2009 and 2014 US Opens, Wozniacki ended her long wait with a gutsy three-set victory over Simona Halep that took close to three hours.

Her tally of 71 weeks as world number one is the ninth-highest total on the WTA Tour since the inception of computer rankings.

Wozniacki last topped the rankings following her 2018 Australian Open win, but she ended this year 38th on the list, her trademark court-covering ability seemingly compromised by her rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.

Caroline Wozniacki, a former world number one on the WTA Tour, has announced she will retire from professional tennis following next month's Australian Open.

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."

World number two Karolina Pliskova has appointed Dani Vallverdu as her new coach for the 2020 season.

The Czech recently split with Conchita Martinez just six months after appointing the Spaniard on a full-time basis, having also worked with Rennae Stubbs.

Pliskova has now turned to Vallverdu, who has coached the likes of Andy Murray, Juan Martin del Potro and Stan Wawrinka, as she eyes an elusive first grand slam title.

The 27-year-old hopes the Venezuelan can take her game to another level next year in what will be his first experience of coaching on the WTA Tour.

"He was one of my priorities from the beginning. He's had great results with his players, he understands tennis like hardly anyone else and I'm convinced he has a lot to offer to me," she said of the Venezuelan.

"I'm already looking forward to the start of the preparation."

Former doubles player Olga Savchuk has also joined Pliskova's coaching staff.

 

Coco Gauff will do battle against the likes of Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu on the first week of the new WTA Tour season after signing up to play in the Auckland Open.

The 15-year-old sensation is limited in the number of tournaments she can play before turning 16 but has opted to play the WTA International event in New Zealand.

Gauff won her first senior title at the Linz Open last month and will use the Auckland tournament, which begins on January 6, as part of her preparation for the Australian Open.

US Open finalists Andreescu and Williams are also scheduled to be part of the field, meaning Gauff could meet either during the tournament, along with two-time defending champion Julia Goerges.

Gauff's success this year included a famous run to the fourth round of Wimbledon, where she became the youngest player in the Open era to come through the qualifying rounds to reach the main draw. Her exploits helped to secure a year-end ranking of 68.

She told the tournament website: "I can’t wait to start my season in Auckland. 2019 was such an incredible year and I achieved so many of the goals that I had set for myself. Wimbledon was obviously a highlight as was capturing my first WTA title.

"So many players talk about Auckland. I have not been before so this will be cool to experience."

Two-time grand slam champion Garbine Muguruza has reunited with coach Conchita Martinez for the 2020 season.

Spaniard Muguruza was in the market for a new coach after splitting with Sam Sumyk in July.

The former world number one had Martinez in her corner when she won a second major title at Wimbledon in 2017, when Sumyk took time out for the birth of his daughter.

Martínez was available after she recently finished working with Karolina Pliskova and the 1994 Wimbledon champion has now been employed by her compatriot Muguruza.

"Garbine and I will work together in the 2020 season. With new challenges and enthusiasm." Martinez tweeted on Saturday.

Muguruza has dropped to 35th in the rankings after winning just one title in Monterrey last season.

 

Angelique Kerber will work with Dieter Kindlmann in the next WTA season after announcing her fellow German as her new coach.

The three-time grand slam champion parted ways with coach Rainer Schuttler in July after just eight months.

Kerber, now ranked 20th in the world, confirmed the arrival of Kindlmann in a tweet on Thursday.

"As much as I've enjoyed my time off, I'm excited to get back into training," wrote the former world number one.

"Happy to announce that Didi Kindlmann will be joining my team as the new coach! Work starts here, and I'm thankful for the people in my team that share the same vision moving forward!"

The move comes after she failed to win a title in 2019.

Kindlmann has previously worked with Madison Keys, Elise Mertens and, most recently, Ajla Tomljanovic.

Kerber's most recent grand slam triumph came at Wimbledon in 2018, but she did not make it past the fourth round at any of the four majors this year. 

Cibulkova retires aged 30

November 12, 2019

The 2016 WTA Finals champion Dominika Cibulkova has announced her retirement at the age of 30

Cibulkova has not played on the WTA Tour since the French Open due to an recurring Achilles injury.

The former world number four, a runner-up in her only grand slam final at the Australian Open five years ago, decided Roland Garros would be her swansong and is ready for life after tennis.

"It was strange because I knew, and no one around me except my team knew it would be my last tournament." Cibulkova said in her WTA exit interview.

"At that point, I was 100 per cent sure. I wasn't doubting or thinking 'maybe yes or no.' I knew I wanted to do it like this, for this to be my last tournament.

"I went home and was happy with my decision. It's really hard to make it, but once you do, you feel more free.

"I feel like this life has been fulfilled for me, and I want to start a new one."

World number two Karolina Pliskova has confirmed she has split from her coach Conchita Martinez.

Former Wimbledon champion Martinez, who was second in the world herself during her playing career, started working with Pliskova on a full-time basis 10 months ago.

The Czech won four WTA titles in 2019 - the joint-most on the tour - but failed to make it beyond the fourth round of a grand slam after reaching the Australian Open semi-finals in January.

Last week, Pliskova was beaten in the last four of the season-ending WTA Finals by Ashleigh Barty.

"I decided I will no longer work with Conchita," Pliskova wrote on her social media accounts.

"It was tough decision, as the season was great. Thank you for all this year, and wish you only the best. Life is a change!"

Martinez, who coached Garbine Muguruza when she won Wimbledon in 2017, also posted a message on social media.

"Just a little note to inform you that Karolina and I have decided to take different paths next year," she said.

"It has been an incredible year full of great moments and emotions. I wish Kaja and her team the best for the future."

Kim Clijsters will not make her comeback at the start of next season due to a knee injury but remains as "determined as ever" to play at the highest level again.

The four-time grand slam champion sprung a major surprise in September by announcing she was coming out of retirement at the age of 36.

However, Clijsters on Monday revealed her WTA Tour return will have to wait.

"I've had to make the decision that I will not be able to compete in January. I am undergoing rehab and treatment for a knee injury," she tweeted.

"It's a setback but I'm determined as ever to get back to the game I love. I really appreciate all your support and encouragement."

The Belgian, a mother of three, retired in 2012 after winning 41 singles titles. 

Clijsters is eligible for unlimited wildcards at WTA tournaments as a former world number one, but she will have to play three tournaments or earn 10 points to re-establish a ranking.

Ashleigh Barty was struggling to make sense of the "bizarre" experience of winning the WTA Finals after her straight-sets victory over Elina Svitolina.

The Australian capped the greatest season of her career with a 6-4 6-3 victory in Shenzhen on Sunday, collecting $4.42million after dethroning the 2018 winner.

It was a superb display from the French Open champion, who had suffered a group-stage loss to Kiki Bertens in China.

Asked to reflect on how her success felt, the world number one said: "Bizarre, if I'm being completely honest. 

"It feels like it's been a year that just hasn't stopped. It's been a year of incredible ups and downs – I think more ups than downs. To cap it off with a very, very special night in Shenzhen is really cool.

"To come through a week like this, you have to beat the best of the best. It takes me back to some memories in Miami where I felt like I did that for the first time, beating back-to-back top-10 players, having that really consistent week.

"I've grown and developed so much since that fortnight in Miami. To be able to bounce back after the disappointment after my match with Kiki [Bertens] was really important."

World number one Ashleigh Barty dethroned Elina Svitolina with a straight-sets victory to secure a maiden WTA Finals title and record prize money.

Barty put the icing on the cake at the end of the best season of her career with a 6-4 6-3 victory in Shenzhen on Sunday.

The French Open champion ended her 2018 campaign by claiming the WTA Elite Trophy and showed the huge strides she has made by lifting the Billie Jean King Trophy 12 months later.

Top seed Barty started the year 15th in the rankings and ends it as the best in the world with a first grand slam under her belt, also picking up $4.42million for her triumph in China.

Svitolina's bank account would have been swelled to the tune of $4.73m if she had retained the title, but the eighth seed had to settle for $2.4m following her first defeat of the tournament.

Australian Barty was a bundle of energy throughout a hard-fought championship match, hitting 30 winners and coming from a break down in the second set to win her fourth event in 2019.

Barty charged into the net with purpose in a positive start and there were no signs of nerves from Svitolina, who blasted down an ace for a hold to love in her opening service game.

Both players mixed up their approach in a tight opening set and it was not until the ninth game that the first break point came, Barty fending that off before taking a 5-4 lead.

Svitolina was under pressure at 0-30 down in the next game and Barty wrapped up the opening set with a rasping forehand return winner after a benefiting from a huge slice of luck from the net cord.

The favourite gifted Svitolina a break for a 2-1 lead in the second with a double fault after a string of backhand errors but hit straight back to level with an overhead volley.

Barty was in the ascendancy, prowling around the court with great athleticism to force the world number eight onto the back foot and a first double fault from the defending champion left her 4-2 down.

Svitolina was not going to relinquish her title without a fight, though, and was back on serve when Barty sent a backhand wide, but she failed to hold for the third game in a row.

Barty grasped her chance to serve out the match, closing it out with a hold to love.

World number one Ashleigh Barty will take on defending champion Elina Svitolina for the WTA Finals title after both players came from a set down in their last-four contests.

Barty, who is aiming to round off comfortably the best year of her career with a maiden WTA Finals triumph, beat Karolina Pliskova 4-6 6-2 6-3 in the second semi-final in Shenzhen.

The French Open champion thumped 36 winners and saved all but one of the 12 break points she faced, yet she will have to break new ground in order to deny Svitolina a successful title defence.

Svitolina, who is remarkably set to play in her first final of 2019, has won all five of the pair's previous meetings.

The Ukrainian held a 5-7 6-3 4-1 lead when her semi-final rival, Belinda Bencic, retired due to cramping.

"You never want to finish the match and to see your opponent retiring," said Svitolina in an on-court interview. "It's very tough for her, especially at the end of the season, one of the biggest tournaments. Hopefully she can recover and be strong for next year.

"When I was coming to this tournament, definitely I was expecting very tough matches. It's the last tournament of the season, tomorrow [Sunday] is the last match of the season finally! It's going to be a tough one but I'm going to leave everything on the court to try to raise the cup again."

"I really didn't want to retire," Bencic said in a news conference. "I wanted to finish the match, but it was not possible. I'm really disappointed."

Simona Halep believes she deserved the blunt criticism after coach Darren Cahill labelled the Wimbledon champion a "disgrace" during her WTA Finals defeat to Karolina Pliskova.

World number five Halep slipped to a 6-0 2-6 6-4 loss on Friday, as her season came to an end in disappointing fashion.

During a courtside discussion with her coach, midway through the deciding set, Cahill condemned the 28-year-old's performance by saying: "The last three games you have been an absolute disgrace on court."

Cahill's tough words did not have the desired effect, with Pliskova going on to progress to the semi-finals where world number one Ashleigh Barty awaits her.

Halep, however, has conceded her coach was right to be so harsh on her.

"I'm pretty sure that I deserved it because I was not calm," Halep said in a news conference, according to WTA Insider.

"I changed something in my attitude.

"Everyone knows that I'm working on that. I was a little bit p***** at myself that I did that. I'm sure that I made him p***** also."

Since her superb run to Wimbledon glory, former world number one Halep has failed to find her best form, only making it into the last eight in one of the five tournaments she has participated in since July.

Simona Halep was branded an "absolute disgrace" by coach Darren Cahill as Karolina Pliskova came out on top in a crucial round-robin WTA Finals clash to reach the last four.

Pliskova and Halep went into the last Purple Group contest in Shenzhen on Friday knowing the winner would face top seed Ashleigh Barty at the semi-final stage and the loser's season was over.

Halep fought back following the humiliation of a first-set bagel, but Pliskova came from a break down in the final set to win 6-0 2-6 6-4.

The Wimbledon champion rallied following some words of wisdom from Cahill at the end of the first set, but the Australian said she had been "an absolute disgrace" over a critical three-game spell during another on-court coaching session after she squandered a lead in the final set.

Second seed Pliskova blew away an out-of-sorts Halep in the first set, the Czech losing just two service points after an aggressive start.

A forehand into the net put Halep a break down and Pliskova continued to return with vigour, toying with the Romanian as she took just 21 minutes to wrap up the set.

Halep heeded Cahill's advice by using more spin and taking pace of the ball as she broke in the opening game of the second set and showed character to edge a break up at 3-2 after Pliskova got back on serve.

Pliskova was unable to halt Halep's momentum and the fifth seed levelled the match with an ace before taking a 2-0 lead in the decider.

Yet Pliskova responded by winning five games in a row, peppering Halep with searing ground strokes and coming to the net at every opportunity.

Cahill's harsh words at 3-2 failed to prompt a positive reaction from Halep, and although she was able to get back on serve at 5-4, she was broken for the third time in the final set and bowed out when Pliskova had fortune with a netcord winner.

Defending champion Elina Svitolina earlier made it three wins out of three with a 7-5 7-6 (12-10) defeat of alternate Sofia Kenin and will take on Belinda Bencic for a place in the final.

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