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Marina Erakovic announces retirement from professional tennis

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Today is both a momentous and emotional occasion for me. I have decided to retire from professional tennis. What a journey it has been!

For nearly a decade I was ranked in the world’s top 100 (career high 39 in singles and 25 in doubles) while competing against some of the world’s best. I have spent half my life travelling the globe and chasing my dreams.

I accumulated 9 WTA titles, made a further 12 WTA Finals, won 18 ITF titles, competed in 36 grand slams, 2 Olympic games, 1 Commonwealth Games and 8 Fed Cup Ties.

I am very proud to have been one of New Zealand’s leading athletes, and to have represented my country.

Playing in 53 countries and visiting countless cities as the lone Kiwi tennis player has not been easy, but it has meant that I have had the fortune of making lifelong friends from every corner of the earth. This has truly been an incredible experience.

In sport as in life, nothing is ever a smooth ride. Over the last few years my body struggled to handle the demands of Tour life and it became too difficult to play at a level of which I am normally capable. I decided to give my mind and body a break this year in 2018, and after a lot of recovery and reflection I have decided to put the racquets away.

A career in sport is impossible to achieve without the support, guidance and constant reassurance of family and friends.

My Mum and Dad, Liliana and Mladen, sister Julia and late Grandmother Dragica, put their own lives on hold so that I could succeed, and for that I am forever grateful.

My thanks go also to my physio Paul Wilson, and my ‘adopted’ Wilson family, who have been with me every step of the way.

Also significant to me has been the SEED Foundation. If it weren’t for a select few tennis supporters in New Zealand that formed the SEED Foundation when I was 18 years old, my dreams of becoming a professional tennis player would be non-existent.

Throughout my tennis journey I have done my utmost to represent my country and those who have supported me in the best possible way.

I have competed in 12 ASB Classic’s, sometimes even through injury, as this has been my favourite event and I never wanted to miss the chance of playing at home. I really do hope that I brought excitement to those watching and supporting me, because your cheers, hugs, banners, messages, late night score following and the general love you have sent my way is really indescribable and I am so very thankful to my fans.

It has been a privilege to compete on the WTA Tour (Women’s Tennis Association). The WTA is the professional association for women’s tennis and a global leader in women’s sport. Our Tour consists of 2500 players from approximately 100 countries and it has been a pleasure to get to know my fellow competitors. I am also very proud that I was elected to represent them for four years (2014-2018) on our WTA Player Council. I hope we continue to be a leader in the sporting world and continue our fight for equality.

Tennis will always be a part of my life, but for now I want to step out of that world and experience new things. Throughout my career I have been chipping away with my studies and so far I have completed two thirds of an Economics Degree through Massey University. I have one year left to go and I will be finishing this next year at the University of Auckland. After this, I am open to all new possibilities.

I will also continue to pursue my passion for music. During my career I learned to play guitar and drums whilst on the road. It is something that has given me a creative outlet and a great amount of joy, especially throughout tough times.

It has been a lot of fun to record and produce music under the pseudonym "The Mad Era" and I have just released a second EP called Voices (see link below).

My approach to tennis has always been quite simple - to be in the moment, to play the game, to work hard and to do this all with a level headedness and a sense of humility.

A BIG THANK YOU to my sponsors over the years: 

Fila, Wilson, SEED, Air Tahiti Nui, Moobar, Nuzest, Tourna Grip, Bolle, KIA, Lufthansa, Zepter International 

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