• Tennis

Former world No. 5 Chakvetadze retires

ESPN staff
September 12, 2013
Anna Chakvetadze has called it quits after a career blighted by injury and personal trauma © Getty Images

Former world number five and US open semi-finalist Anna Chakvetadze has announced her retirement aged just 26 due to chronic back injuries after a career blighted by an horrific armed robbery in 2007.

Chakvetadze earned nearly £2.5 million in prize money over a career that spanned a decade and included a semi-final at Flushing Meadows in 2007, eight WTA singles titles and two Fed Cups with Russia.

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She reached a career high No. 5 in the rankings in September 2007 but has since seen herself plummet to 577.

"I no longer see myself in professional tennis so I am ready to say that may career is over," Chakvetadze told Russia's Sport Express daily.

"Of course, this was a difficult decision and I thought hard about it but now it is finally taken. I understood that the point of return to tennis was behind me.

"I have a chronic back injury. So I took the decision to stop and start a new life."

Chakvetadze failed to recapture the early promise she showed after she was held at knifepoint at her home in December 2007. The robbers stole £190,000 and beat up her father.

"After this my season was a complete failure. They did not rob me at a good time," she said with irony. "Yes, it affected my further career."

However Chakvetadze insists the trauma she suffered changed her for the better and made her "look more deeply at things".

"When the attack happened I thought that was it for us. But we stayed alive."

Her parents still live in the house where the robbery took place. The criminals were never caught.

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