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Tammy says goodbye to professional tennis

Tammy says goodbye to professional tennis

MONDAY, June 20, 2016

THAILAND’S most successful professional tennis player Tamarine Tanasugarn announced her retirement from the game after more than 22 years on the circuit.

The 39-year-old, who was world No 19 in May 2002, decided to call it a day after her mother Sunetra passed away on Saturday at the age of 66.

“Life without mom is tough. I thought it’s time to hang up the racquet. The level of success I achieved, the heights I reached was far from what I thought I would,” said Tamarine, winner of four WTA singles titles.

 “I have experienced the highest as well as the lowest moments throughout my career. I have looked at those as some kind of a valuable experience. I’m getting older and it’s time to move on to the next phase of my life,” said Tamarine.

 “In fact, I was waiting for the right moment to announce my retirement. I have to focus on a new career and unfortunately I won’t have the guidance of my mother. However, I will try to pass on my experience to younger players.”

Apart from her work at the Police Department, Tamarine runs a tennis academy for under-10 children called “The Ace” at the Crystal Park Ram Indra.

The 2008 Wimbledon quarter-finalist, the only Thai player, male or female, to reach that stage in a Grand Slam event, said she is willing to work as a coach if Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand assigns her to improve the quality of young players.

 “I was born for tennis and I got the fame because of tennis. So tennis is the only thing I can give back to the society without having to continue playing as a professional,” she said.

Apart from four career titles (2003 in Hyderabad on hard court, 2008-2009 in ‘s-Hertogenbosch on grass and 2010 in Osaka on hard), Tamarine also won eight WTA doubles titles. Her best performance in each Major was a fourth round appearance in the Australian Open in 1998, third round at French Open in 2002, quarter-final at Wimbledon in 2008 and fourth round at US Open in 2003.

She also spearheaded Thailand to a historic two Fed Cup World Group II appearances in 2005-06. She and Paradorn Srichaphan reached the final at the World Mixed Team Hopman Cup in 2000 and reached the Olympics quarter-finals with Benjamas Sangaram in the Sydney Olympics that year.