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Mel South by Getty Images
Former British No.2 Melanie South has decided to retire from tennis to focus on a career within coaching.
Mel, 27, from New Malden in Surrey, reached a career high ranking of 99 in February 2009. She won a total of 6 ITF singles and 24 ITF doubles titles, and won a round at Wimbledon on her Grand Slam debut in 2006 beating 11th seed Francesca Schiavone.
Speaking about her announcement, the former British No.2 said: “I feel ready and excited to move onto the next stage of my life. I’ve had many great moments in my career and am proud of the highs I have reached. My most memorable moments are beating Schiavone at Wimbledon, making the quarter-finals of the WTA Tour event in Birmingham, getting to both the quarter-finals (with Alex Bogdanovic) and the 3rd round (with Ken Skupski) in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon, representing Great Britain in Fed Cup and of course breaking into the top 100 which had always been my goal.
“There are always ups and downs in a player’s career and I have been through many of both. I have suffered a few injuries that have now taken their toll on my body but overall I am proud of how I have dealt with both the highs and lows.
“I would like to thank all of my past coaches, trainers, sponsors and friends at the LTA who have helped me on my tennis journey. From the beginning with Lesley Charles across the road from Wimbledon, listening to the crowds cheering as I had my lessons hoping one day I would play there. A special ‘thank you’ goes to Lucie Ahl who first started coaching me when I was 17. She is the one person who has always been at the other end of the phone throughout every high and low no matter how big or small they were.
“Through to my most recent team at the Bath Academy who have been a great support through my surgery and recent injuries. It has been great training in such a positive and healthy environment. A massive thank you to all the fans and supporters who have ever cheered, clapped or followed my results as well. Finally, and probably most importantly, thank you to my family. The help and support they have always given me is amazing. I am now looking forward to using all my own experiences to help others on their own tennis journey.”
Iain Bates LTA Head of Women’s Tennis said: “Mel has contributed hugely to British women's tennis throughout her career. Breaking the top 100 in 2009 was a great achievement and one which Mel should be very proud of. We all wish her well in the next phase of her career.”