Reigning Olympic champion and former world No. 3 Elena Dementieva announced on Friday her retirement from tennis after bowing out of the WTA Championship in Doha.
The 29-year-old made the announcement after crashing out to Francesca Schiavone in the group stages.
Dementieva reached two Grand Slam finals in 2004, and grabbed the Olympic gold medal in Beijing four years later.
"This year in Doha was very special for me because it was my last tournament," Dementieva told the crowd after her defeat.
"Thanks to all the players for the amazing experiences, all the years I spent on the court with you," she was quoted as saying on the WTA website.
"Most importantly, thanks to my family, especially my mom. You've been very supportive, encouraging, inspiring... you were always there for me. It was a long way and we did it together," she said in bringing a 12-year professional career to a close.
"It's so emotional. It's so hard to say goodbye to all of you. I'm going to miss you so much," she added.
MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti)