After Ana Ivanovic left professional tennis, the WTA is saying goodbye to two more players whose injuries can’t be healed any more: Russian Nadia Petrova and Australian Jarmila Wolfe.
After almost two decades of professional career and 917 singles and doubles match wins, the 34-year-old Petrova decided to quit tennis, as her body simply couldn’t recover from the strains it had gone through en route to the Russian’s 13 WTA singles and 24 WTA doubles titles.
Plagued by injuries, the former world No.3 Petrova did everything she could, but her body persistently said no:
I played and worked out, but every time I tried to step it up and work towards a tour level, my body would break down. It’s tough when you have all these pains and then have to go on the court, trying to perform at your best level.
The 2005 French Open semifinalist lost her mother in a car accident in 2013 and even that tragedy didn’t stop her from trying to return to tennis, but it turned out to be impossible.
In February 2014, I tried playing to see how I felt. My mind was still everywhere but on the court and my body was just not responding. It was painful. Painful because I felt useless and the player I was once, was no longer there. […] I had to start facing the inevitable and that was that my career had come to an end.
The 29-year-old Wolfe was also forced to quit as her body kept saying no. The former world No.25 Australian wanted to play one more Australian Open and properly say goodbye to her home crowd, but a chronic back injury rushed her hard decision to retire. On a brighter side, Wolfe will now peacefully enjoy her family life with husband Adam.
My tribute to Jarmila’s career is this super cute childhood photo of her getting ready for a tennis practice.
Big decisions are never easy, but these ladies have certainly made the right choice, opening a new, better chapter of their lives. Good luck, Nadia and Jarka!