At the age of 27, Gisela Dulko retires from professional tennis with a letter posted on WTA Tour's official website. The most popular WTA player from Argentina, with prominent singles career and extraordinary doubles career, has changed her priorities in life and tennis will no longer be her focus of attention.
The reason why I have decided to retire from tennis is because I now have other priorities on which I want to focus. As a result, I don't have the same desire or ability to make the sacrifices which are necessary to live the life of a tennis professional.
Family life is probably on top of her list now. In July 2011, Dulko married 26-year-old Argentine footballer Fernando Gago. Their relationship was mostly long-distance, but now they will surely have more time for each other.
Thank you to my husband for having supported me since the day we met. We knew that distance would be part of our lives and make it very hard to carry on a relationship. My husband made our life together easy. Thanks to his love and respect of my career we were able to do it and today a whole lifetime together awaits.
In her retirement letter, Dulko especially thanked Italian Flavia Pennetta, her doubles partner with whom she made the biggest successes. They won the 2011 Australian Open doubles title and in her stellar 2010 season she won eight doubles titles, seven of which in partnership with Pennetta. That year they also won the WTA Championships, one of their biggest achievements, and Dulko claimed the No.1 doubles ranking.
A very special thanks to Flavia Pennetta. Together we became No.1 in the world in doubles, won a Grand Slam and a Championships title. The most beautiful memory I carry of Flavia, however, is our friendship.
In her 11-year professional career, Dulko won four singles titles (Acapulco in 2011, Fes in 2008, Budapest and Forest Hills in 2007) and reached a ranking of No.26. In doubles she won 17 titles. (photos: Ralf Reinecke)