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Katie O'Brien by Getty Images
Former British number one, Katie O’Brien, has today announced her retirement from competitive tennis.
After seven years as a professional, the 25-year-old from Hessle in Yorkshire has confirmed that the World Team Tennis event in the USA last month was her final competition, and she is now looking forward to new challenges:
“I know I’m retiring at a relatively early age but having been completely committed to tennis for a long time I feel ready to explore different avenues of life,” said O’Brien.
“I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished over the years and I'm grateful to the LTA and my family for all their support and providing me with all the opportunities I've had.”
Katie is currently ranked No.281 in the world and has been one of Britain’s leading female players over recent years. She broke into the world’s top 100 for the first time in 2009 and went on to reach a career high world ranking of No.84 in 2010.
“I really enjoyed my time playing in World Team Tennis last month, and I've decided it would be nice to finish on such a positive note. The last time I played a match, I had the honour of sharing the court with Martina Hingis and Serena Williams so I’m stepping down on a real high and will take some fantastic memories with me.
“I'll always be passionate about tennis as it's such a wonderful sport. I've been fortunate to have travelled the world and met many great people throughout my career, but now is about looking forward. I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do next. I'm exploring opportunities both inside and outside of tennis, but I’m very excited about what my future holds.”
Speaking about Katie’s retirement, Iain Bates, LTA Junior Women’s Tennis Manager said:
“In achieving a career high ranking of 84, Katie has been an integral part of the progression in British women’s tennis over the last five years. She has been extremely committed and driven towards achieving her goals and objectives and she should be proud of what she has achieved. We all wish her well and hope that she has continued success in the future.”
Katie played in the main draw at The Championships Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the French Open, and represented Great Britain in ten Fed Cup ties. She has won four ITF singles titles, at Jersey $25k (March 2009), Sutton $25k (February 2009), Nottingham $25k (September 2006) and Hull $10k (January 2005).