Tennis-Britain's Konta retires aged 30

FILE PHOTO: Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 28/6/16 Great Britain's Johanna Konta celebrates winning the first set against Puerto Rico's Monica Puig REUTERS/Paul Childs

(Reuters) - Former world number four Johanna Konta announced her retirement from tennis at the age of 30 on Wednesday, saying she was grateful she got to live her dreams as a professional.

Struggling for form and fitness this year, Konta dropped to 113th in the world and played her last tour match at the Cincinnati Open in August, suffering a first-round loss to Karolina Muchova.

The Briton withdrew from Wimbledon in June when a member of her team tested positive for COVID-19. She also missed the Tokyo Olympics after contracting the virus.

"Grateful -- this is the word that I've probably used the most during my career, and is the word that I feel explains it best at the end," Konta said in a statement.

"My playing career has come to an end, and I am so incredibly grateful for the career that it turned out to be.

"Through my own resilience and through the guidance of others, I got to live my dreams. How incredibly fortunate I count myself to be."

Konta achieved a career-high ranking of number four in 2017 after reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals. She also made the last four at the 2016 Australian Open and 2019 French Open.

Konta reached the quarter-finals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, losing in straight sets to Germany's Angelique Kerber.

"Johanna's accomplished tennis career has thrilled fans in Britain and around the world," Women's Tennis Association chairman Steve Simon said.

"We wish her nothing but great happiness and success as she embarks on what I am sure will be a very exciting next chapter of her life."

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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