Baltacha hangs up her racket
Originally published on: 19/11/13 00:00
The Scot, who reached a career-high ranking of 49 in 2010, has battled a chronic liver condition since she was 19 as well as a series of injuries over what she described as 16 “bruising” years.
"It just feels it's the right time," she said. "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 – some incredible highs and some very low lows – 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 still absolutely love tennis and I want to take that passion and put it into learning to be the best coach I can be so that I can take all my experiences as a player and use that to help develop the next generation of British tennis players."
Baltacha, who enjoyed victories over Top Ten opponents Li Na and Francesca Schiavone, twice reached the third round of the Australian Open, in 2005 and 2011, as well as the third round on her Wimbledon debut in 2002.
Baltacha, who played 39 Fed Cup ties between 2003 and 2013, earned praise from Fed Cup captain Judy Murray, who called her a “superstar on and off the court”.
"Her work ethic and competitive spirit are second to none," Murray said. "If we could bottle those qualities, we would have many more top players. She's the perfect role model for our junior girls and the Fed Cup won't be the same without her."