In an era in which players are extending their careers, Carla Suárez Navarro is calling an end to hers.
The Spaniard, who will turn 32 during next year’s US Open, announced Tuesday that 2020 will be her final year on the WTA Tour.
She held a press conference at the Barcino Tennis Club in Barcelona to break the news.
“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,” she said. “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.”
When she goes, the world of sweet one-handed backhands on the women’s side (or any side) will suffer a big blow.
Currently ranked No. 55, Suárez Navarro had a sub-par season in 2019, by her standards.
She finished with an 18-18 won-loss record (even if she banked over $800,000 for her efforts). Her season ended after a retirement in the first round of the US Open against Timea Babos.
A former No. 6
2020 será mi última temporada como tenista profesional. ¡Gracias a todos por el apoyo y nos vemos pronto! 👋🏻
Today I announced that 2020 will be my last season on Tour. Thanks for your support and see you soon! ☺️ pic.twitter.com/0n4kf3cZMH
— Carla Suárez Navarro (@CarlaSuarezNava) December 3, 2019
Suárez Navarro played her first professional match all the way back in Feb. 2003, when she was just 14 years old.
So it’s been a long grind.
She got right to it, playing only a very select number of junior tournaments (and beat a lot of future top pros when she did).
She has finished in the top 100 for 12 consecutive seasons, going back to 2008. And she represented Spain in three Olympic Games – Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.
She reached a career high of No. 6 in singles on Feb. 29, 2016. And, equally impressive, she got to No. 11 in doubles in April 2015. All of that, at 5-foot-4.
Suárez Navarro and countrywoman Garbiñe Muguruza qualified for the WTA Tour Finals in 2015, reaching the final. But she hasn’t played much doubles in recent years.
If she’s remembered for anything beyond her stylish clay-court game, it’s that she seems to be a player that everyone likes. And that includes some crossover to the men’s side.
Hopefully she will find some inspiration in seeing the finish line, and go out in style.