Has tennis always been the sport for you?
Oh yes. I started playing tennis when I was seven years old and even at that early age, I knew I wanted to play in the professional league. It has always been my dream. I am just so grateful to my parents for supporting me all the way. They even homeschooled me so that I could spend more time on my training.
What is your most memorable experience on the court?
For me, the 2009 US Open was just a magical experience. Never in my wildest dream have I thought that I would defeat those athletes. And it was a come from behind win, I guess nobody expected me to be able to do that also. But that experience taught me a lot. I learned to believe in myself and in my capability to play this sport at the highest level. I realized I could really compete head to head with the world’s best athletes and I am just overwhelmed, excited, and grateful for the opportunity.
Why did you decide to retire from professional tennis?
All the injuries have taken their toll on my body. My health suffered, I had unbearable muscle pains and it also affected my heart so I knew I had to stop playing at that level. In as much as I love the sport, I could not play the game without giving my 100% and with my body suffering from those pains, I could not give my 100%. It would also be unfair to the sport and to my fellow athletes if I continued playing without being 100% healthy.
What is your message to your fans and supporters?
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my Believers for their love and support. I would not have made it this far without you. You are always in my heart. Tennis has always been my first love so I am still with you guys in full support for this sport and all the athletes who give their all each and every game.