Ipswich tennis star Elena Baltacha has told the Lawn Tennis Association that "it feels like the right time" to being her tennis career to a close.
The former British number one announced her retirement from the sport with immediate effect this morning.
"It just feels it's the right time. My body has taken such a bruising over the last 16 years and that's finally taken its toll.
I have had some amazing experiences through playing tennis and I wouldn’t change any of them but now my mind and my body are telling me it’s time to move on to a new phase of my life.
I am very committed to my Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis (EBAT), which I started with my coach Nino Severino. We believe that no matter what background you are from, that all children, rich or poor, should have the opportunity to play tennis. "
– Elena Baltacha, former professional tennis player
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Elena Baltacha has been forced to pull out of her second qualifying round match against Laura Robson at the AEGON International after suffering a neck injury.
Baltacha is optimistic about making a swift recovery and is still hoping to play doubles alongside Fed Cup team-mate Anne Keothavong.
“I'm very disappointed because I was really looking forward to playing Laura. My neck was really sore during practice earlier today and the even though the WTA physios worked hard to try to get me ready to play, in the end I had no choice but to pull out of the match."