After 16 years of tennis ups and downs, injury and victory, Casey Dellacqua has announced her retirement. Citing a desire to spend time with her children, Dellacqua will be trading her racquet for rattles and spending time with her one-year-old daughter and four-year-old son. Partner Amanda Judd is the birth mother of both children. “I definitely feel like it’s the right time for me to hang up the racquets,” Dellacqua said in a video message posted to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. “It’s time for me to be a mum, and it’s time for me to spend time with my family, particularly while my kids are young. It’s a precious time in life, and I really feel like it’s a time when I want to be at home with my family.” Her full message is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/caseydellacquatennis/.
If Not for the Injuries
Dellacqua became an Australian sensation with her 2008 run to the Aussie Open quarterfinals. It’s impossible to say what may have been had a 2009 shoulder surgery and a 2010 foot surgery not taken its toll on this Top 40 player. Those injuries sidelined her for a combined 17 months, and after she had to use her protected ranking to enter tournaments. In 2015, Dellacqua fell and hit her head on the cement during the China Open, forcing her to withdraw from women’s doubles competition. When healthy, Dellacqua has had some great runs. It kind of makes you wonder about her singles career had injury and accident not disrupted it.
Despite her run in 2008’s Australian Open or her quarterfinal appearance at the 2014 BNP Paribas Open, Dellacqua has never ranked in singles Top 25, stopping at a high of World #26. Doubles is where Dellacqua has found her greatest success, ranking World #3 in doubles. She reached the doubles finals of all four Grand Slams, and she was runner-up in seven Grand Slam Women’s Doubles finals. Her mixed-doubles Grand Slam win came at the 2011 French Open, where she and American Scott Lipsky defeated Katarina Srebotnik and Nenad Zimonjic in three tight sets. Dellacqua holds seven WTA doubles titles, including one Premier Mandatory at the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open.
Margaret Court Controversy
In 2013, fellow Aussie player and 24-time Major winner Margaret Court criticized the “lesbians in tennis,” and went as far as to talk about transgender impact on children. Her heavy critique referencing Dellacqua’s lifestyle and family went unchallenged until Dellacqua opened up last May. Hurt by Court’s comments, Dellacqua was clear that her family was not to be challenged and Court’s words were not appropriate. Olympian John Millman and fellow Australian Sam Stosur gave support to Dellacqua’s words and expressed concern over Court’s comments. Controversy erupted over honoring Court with her name at the prominent Australian Open’s venue, but in the end, 2018’s Australian Open matches were still scheduled and played in Margaret Court Arena.
Feeling the Love
After Dellacqua’s Facebook post announcing her retirement, the outpouring of love and support was obvious. Judy Murray called her “a National Treasure.” Rajeev Ram said she is “All Class.” Kim Clijsters tweeted, “Congrats on a Great career and thank you for being an inspirational woman to so many.” Miami Open tournament director James Blake acknowledged, “The sport was lucky to have you. In my opinion, you will always be remembered for competing the right way and showing respect.” She leaves the sport with her peers recognizing her as a true champion, competitor, and friend. It’s obvious by the tweets that Casey Dellacqua is a truly loved tennis icon, Margaret Court’s opinions notwithstanding.
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