Former World No. 25 Yaroslava Shvedova has announced her retirement from professional tennis. In a short ceremony at the inaugural WTA Astana Open on Friday, the 34-year-old bid farewell to her home crowd, bringing the curtain down to a career spanning nearly two decades.
Shvedova’s only title in singles came at the Bangalore Open in 2007. It was a significant breakthrough in her career, as she would go on to break the Top 100 for the first time. Shvedova also reached the quarterfinals of the French Open twice and Wimbledon respectively.
But her success in doubles outpaced her singles career by a mile. She won 14 titles in total including the 2010 Wimbledon and US Open. She also peaked at a career-high ranking of World No. 3 in doubles.
Prior to her retirement, Shvedova sat at No. 426 in singles and was balancing motherhood with life on tour. In 2017 she underwent ankle surgery, putting her career on hold. She missed over 24 months of tennis recuperating and taking time for maternity.
The tour will miss her @SlavaSays 🇰🇿. Yaroslava Shvedova retired from professional tennis but she will remain as a captain of Kazakhstan Women’s Team @BJKCup
Thank you for everything! Amazing career and contribution to Kazakhstan tennis.@WTA pic.twitter.com/3ki2ochMUa
— Astana Open (@ktf_kz) October 1, 2021
After giving birth to a set of twins and recovering from her previous injury, she returned to action in 2020. Her comeback began at the Dubai Championships where she was unranked. She entered the event with a protected ranking, benefitting from the revised WTA rules that allowed returning mothers to use their original ranking before maternity leave in at least 12 tournaments. Unfortunately for Shvedova, her comeback was cut short as tennis came to a standstill due to the pandemic-induced hiatus.
The Moscow-born Shvedova made her third coming in 2021, playing 15 matches. She played her last tournament at the 2021 US Open, losing to Jasmine Paolini in the first round. She would join forces with Fabrice Martin in Mixed Doubles, and the pair would reach the quarterfinals in what turned out to be her last bout on the court.
Shvedova won a “Golden Set” in the main draw of Grand Slam
Shvedova boasts one of the most remarkable feats in tennis history. At the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, the Kazakh became the first and thus far only player to win a “Golden Set” (a set which is won without losing a single point) in a Grand Slam tournament when she won all 24 points in a 15-minute first set against Sara Errani.
Having hang her racket, Shvedova does not plan to stay away from the game. She will remain as Kazakhstan’s Team captain at the Billie Jean King Cup.
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