Casey Dellacqua, the 33-year-old Aussie who enjoyed a second career wave in doubles with countrywoman Ashleigh Barty, announced her retirement Tuesday in Australia.
Dellacqua posted a video on her Facebook page.
“It’s been an awesome & fun ride & I’ve loved every minute but I’m so excited for the next chapter of my life,” Dellacqua wrote.
Her final match came as she represented her country against Ukraine in Fed Cup in February. She and Barty defeated Lyudmyla and Nadiia Kichenok 6-3, 6-4, in the fifth and deciding rubber of their first-round World Group II tie after the Australian Open.
Dellacqua had played the entire Australian summer season – Brisbane, Sydney and the Australian Open. But she hasn’t played since.
“It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for awhile now, and I definitely feel like it’s the right time for me to hang up the rackets. It’s time for me to be a mum, and it’s time for me to spend time with my family, particularly while my kids are young,” she said.
“I’ve been so fortunate to have a great career doing what I absolutely love, and fulfilling my childhood dream of being a professional athlete. I love everything about tennis, I love everything it has given me. But I also can’t wait for the best of me away from the tennis court. I’m really excited about that next stage in my life.”
Good in singles, great in doubles
Dellacqua first made her mark a decade ago when she reached the fourth round of her home-country Slam at the Australian Open. She also reached the third round at the French Open and Wimbledon that year. She got to No. 41 in the rankings, but the end of that 2008 season was marred by a shoulder injury.
She had surgery on her left (serving) shoulder, and missed most of 2009. But she came back to post her career-high ranking in singles of No. 26 in Sept. 2014.
The next year, she made her top-five debut in doubles after the US Open. But a foot injury earlier in the year hurt. And then, after she suffered a concussion on court in Beijing in the fall of 2015, she missed significant time.’
In retrospect, given how much she struggled with the after-effects, and nearly 30, that’s when the course of her career changed despite the singles renaissance.
Dellacqua and Barty, younger by 11 years, won three tournaments together in 2017, and also reached the finals at the French Open, Eastbourne and New Haven. She also reached the French and US Open finals in 2015 with Yaroslava Shvedova, and the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open finals with Barty in 2013.
No doubt the Perth native deserved to have a major title on her resumé. And she did, winning the French Open mixed doubles in 2011 with American Scott Lipsky.
But she said in the video that one of the joys of playing pro tennis was representing her country.
She did that for five years in Fed Cup. She also played in two Olympics Games – in 2008 in Beijing, and in 2012 in London.
It’s fitting that her finale came in Fed Cup.
Dellacqua penned a piece on the Australian Players Voice website to mark the occasion.
Dellacqua and partner Amanda Judd have two young children. And through her career, she has dealt with some highly unnecessary attacks on her sexual preference, most notably by former Australian Open champion Margaret Court.
Dellacqua has never made a big deal of it. Nor has she shied away from staunchly supporting the issues related to it as her country grappled with issues involving the legal rights of the LGBT community.
Congrats Casey. All class all career. Good luck with life on the other side of tennis. Something tells me we will listening to you talking tennis very soon. 👏
— Darren Cahill (@darren_cahill) April 10, 2018