Former World No. 4 Johanna Konta announced her retirement on Wednesday after a rough 2021 season.
The 30-year-old Konta pulled out of Wimbledon (COVID-19 protocols), the Olympics (positive COVID-19 test) and U.S. Open (thigh) in her final campaign. She also won at Nottingham, the fourth singles title of her career.
The highly popular Brit reached the semifinals of all four Grand Slam events -- Australian Open (2016), Wimbledon (2017), French Open (2019) and U.S. Open (2019).
Konta's career-best No. 4 ranking came in July of 2017 and that made her the first British woman to reach the Top 5 since Jo Durie in 1984. She is currently No. 113.
"Grateful: This is the word that I've probably used the most during my career, and is the word that I feel explains it best at the end," Konta said in her announcement on social media. "My playing career has come to an end, and I am so incredibly grateful for the career that it turned out to be.
"All the evidence pointed towards me not 'making' it in this profession. However my luck materialized in the people that came into my life and impacted my existence in ways that transcended tennis. I am so incredibly grateful for these people. You know who you are.
"Through my own resilience and through the guidance of others, I got to live my dreams. I got to become what I wanted and said as a child. How incredibly fortunate I count myself to be. How grateful I am."
Tennis legend Billie Jean King tweeted a comment to Konta's announcement: "What a terrific career. Looking forward to watching the next steps in your journey."
Konta's final match came at the Cincinnati-area Western Southern Open in August. She lost to Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic in the first round and later pulled out of the U.S. Open due to her injury.
Konta said dealing with the highs and lows of tennis was part of the deal. She played in her first WTA match in 2010 and won over $10 million in prize money.
"I wanted to sit with my feelings and emotions and give myself time in coming to the decision," Konta told WTA Insider from her home in England. "That process has also given me some peace with it because by no means does my retiring mean that I don't like the sport anymore or that I can't see myself play anymore.
"Even sitting here, I miss playing. I miss that life because it's the only life I've known since I have memory. So it's interesting detangling yourself from something that you've just been attached to for so long."
Born in Australia, Konta became a British citizen in 2012.
--Field Level Media