DOHA, Qatar, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Elena Dementieva, who was twice a major-tournament finalist and was ranked as high as No. 3 in the world, retired from competitive tennis Friday.
Dementieva, 29, made her decision public after she lost 6-4, 6-2 to Francesca Schiavone in her final round-robin match at the WTA Championships in Qatar. The loss formally eliminated Dementieva from the tournament.
"I want to thank everyone who has supported me through my career, including the WTA, all of the tournaments and the staff, all of the WTA players I have had the pleasure of playing with, the sponsors that are so important for our sport, my mother Vera, my family and of course, the fans that have been there for me through the years," Dementieva said Friday. "While I look forward to the next chapter of my life, I will miss all of you very much."
Dementieva turned professional in August 1998 and climbed as high as No. 3 in the world rankings in April 2009. She won 16 WTA titles, including two this year, and took home more than $14 million in prizes. Her best finishes in Grand Slam events were finals losses in the French Open and U.S. Open in 2004.
She won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, eight years after taking silver at Sydney. She represented Russia 18 times in Fed Cup play and was on the team when Russia won the Fed Cup title in 2005.