Safarova to retire after 2019 Australian Open

Lucie Safarova will retire following next year's Australian Open due to health issues she has dealt with since 2015.

Former world number five Lucie Safarova   -  Getty Images

Former world number five Lucie Safarova will retire from tennis after the 2019 Australian Open. The 31-year-old made the announcement ahead of the Fed Cup final between Czech Republic and United States, citing health issues as the main reason behind her decision.

Safarova was hospitalised with a bacterial infection in September 2015 and has since suffered from reactive arthritis.

The left-hander had that year reached the French Open final, losing to Maria Sharapova, and climbed to a career-high ranking of fifth prior to being sidelined.

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Safarova won five grand slam doubles titles alongside Bethanie Mattek-Sands, with Wimbledon the only major they failed to triumph at.

"I've been thinking about it for a long time. Already with Rob [Steckley, her coach] we spoke about this being the last season," she said.

"I've had a great career, but I'm not healthy enough. And, I don't want to worry about small tournaments. I don't want to end up playing the qualifiers and worrying about tennis. I don't think it should be that way."

Safarova intends to play singles and doubles at Melbourne Park and no tournaments beforehand.

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