Iveta Melzer, whom we knew mostly as Iveta Benesova (name changes always baffle me), has retired from professional tennis. It's sad to see a lefty Czech player go, but we haven't seen much of Melzer lately, so this announcement isn't a surprise.
In singles, the talented Melzer was often frustrating for fans. She had an unusually good serve, and could certainly use it to her advantage, but she also had an especially fragile temperament and was often her own worst enemy on the court.
It was in doubles that she really showed her gifts, even though she was most often paired with a player with an equally fragile temperament--Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Together, though, they could make trouble for the best of doubles teams.
Melzer won two WTA singles titles, 14 doubles titles (10 of them with Zahlavova Strycova), and--with not-yet-her-husband Juergen Melzer--she won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title in 2011, the year that Czech players swept all the Wimbledon titles. Melzer reached a career-high ranking in singles of number 25 in the world, and a career-high ranking of 17 in doubles. She was a member of the Czech Fed Cup team and the Czech Olympic team.
In 2012, Melzer sustained a shoulder injury that kept her off of the tour for a year and a half. In announcing her retirement, the 31-year-old Czech player said that being out for a year and a half contributed to her decision to stop playing professional tennis.
"I would have never believed that time would fly so fast," Melzer said. "I still remember like it was yesterday when my father brought me to the court when I was seven and I started to hit my first tennis balls, or later, when I decided to put in all of my devotion and try to become professional.
"I remember the first points on tour and the goals I was trying to reach; the hard times I was giving my coaches, because there
were certain situations i was difficult, but also the fun we had along
the way; all of the great and successful moments and also the bad ones. I would have done a few things differently, but I have absolutely no regrets.
"I am grateful for every single experience and I believe it was part of the process to learn, become stronger and a better person. Today I can say I enjoyed my career with all the ups and downs."