Tennis star Mauresmo retires

Former Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo has confirmed her retirement from professional tennis.

The 30-year-old Frenchwoman, who also won the Australian Open and was ranked number one in the world in 2004, announced her decision at a news conference this morning.

Mauresmo said: "I came here to announce the end of my career. I made this decision after careful consideration."

Mauresmo revealed in October she was considering calling time on her career, claiming she could not "find again the desire" to compete.

The Frenchwoman pulled out of her last two tournaments of the year in Linz and Luxembourg having lost 6-4 6-0 to Aleksandra Wozniak in the second round of the US Open.

Having been tipped as a future Grand Slam champion since reaching the final of the Australian Open as a teenager in 1999, Mauresmo struggled to cope with her nerves on the biggest stage.

She topped the rankings in 2004 without having reached another Grand Slam final and was criticised for a lack of mental strength after failing to capitalise on winning positions.

Ironically, despite her physical strength, Mauresmo played a fairly traditional style of tennis that relied less on power than most of her rivals.

In 2006 she finally broke her duck, winning the Australian Open and later returning to the top of the world rankings.

Doubts still remained, though, because of the retirement of both Kim Clijsters in the semi-finals and Justine Henin in the final in Melbourne.

However, she proved her mettle at Wimbledon the same year, coming from behind to beat Henin in the pair's second grand slam final meeting.

The last three years have been a story of gradual decline and injuries, with Mauresmo winning only two titles since that All England Club triumph.

The last of those - her 25th - came in stunning fashion in Paris in February and hinted at a revival, but it was not to be and Mauresmo ends her career ranked 21st in the world.

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