Some 15 years in the past final week, French participant Tatiana Golovin was once at the stadium on the 2004 US Open, taking part in a third-round fit towards Serena Williams.

She was once simply 16 years outdated.


Already, she had reached the second one week of the Australian Open that January simply as she was once celebrating that birthday – ranked No. 354 and in on a wild card.

She was once named WTA Excursion newcomer of the 12 months in 2004, following within the footsteps of Maria Sharapova, who had received the award in 2003.

However not up to 4 years later, in Would possibly 2008, Golovin performed her final fit on the WTA tournament in Berlin, Germany.

She attempted to compete within the Olympic doubles later that summer time in Beijing with Pauline Parmentier. However she couldn’t make the date.

Golovin was once simply 20.

Type of arthritis forces Golovin out

The Frenchwoman needed to forestall as a result of a illness known as ankylosing sponylytis.

It’s a type of arthritis that reasons irritation of the vertebrae that “may end up in serious, power ache and discomfort” within the backbone and in different spaces of the frame.  

However on Friday, the day after 36-year-old Kim Clijsters introduced she would go back to the WTA Excursion in 2020, Golovin – nonetheless simply 31 – made a press release of her personal on BeIn Sports activities, the community for which she serves as a tennis analyst.

“The theory has been brewing for a 12 months and, for the reason that summer time, I’ve been at it very severely. Past the tennis, I began critical bodily coaching a month in the past. The function was once to be in a position at the start of subsequent 12 months, however issues are going temporarily and nowadays, I’m pondering of possibly beginning once more in mid-October,” Golovin stated.

Early retirement, and what would possibly were

GolovinGolovin stated that she stopped as a result of her frame may not reply to the calls for of high-level game as a result of the illness.

She had closed the door on her tennis occupation a way back.

However, she stated, she’s been requested on a number of events over the past 18 months to talk about the illness.

And after assembly more than a few docs right through the ones talking engagements, she discovered that there have been remedies that would possibly permit her to go back.

“In hindsight, I’ve learned over the previous couple of years that where I perfect expressed myself was once as an athlete,” she stated. “I’ll see if I will get there once more. I simply must be able to control the ache, as it’s nonetheless there.”

She’s on the French nationwide coaching centre in Paris, coaching each day, checking out racquets, all with the strengthen of the French Tennis Federation, she added.

Profession excessive of No. 12

Golovin isn’t what you name a significant analyst, however she can also be entertaining – there was once that point when she wore an entire bunch of various headwear.

Born in Moscow, Golovin moved to France when she was once simply 8 months outdated.

She was once a precocious junior, taking part in ITF occasions by means of age 13 and making the 2001 US Open junior women’ draw on her score, nonetheless elderly 13. Via 14, she was once already taking part in professional occasions.

She reached No. 22 within the junior scores, beating avid gamers like Kateryna Bondarenko, Jarmila Gajdosova, Casey Dellacqua, Anna Chakvetadze and Nicole Vaidisova earlier than the wrapped up her junior occupation at age 15 on the 2003 US Open.

Six months later, simply 16 and already ranked No. 94 and into the Miami Open on a wild card, she defeated Jelena Jankovic and Dinara Safina to succeed in the around of 16 there.


That spring, she and Richard Gasquet (who was once about to show 18) received the French Open combined doubles identify.

It was once infrequently a cakewalk draw. Have a look at the groups they defeated.


She reached the second one week of Wimbledon, shedding to Serena Williams within the around of 16.

Via past due summer time, already ranked within the best 30, she was once taking part in Williams once more within the 1/3 around of the ladies’s attract New York. Except for Serena, she had crushed many of the perfect avid gamers of her generation.

She reached her occupation excessive of No. 12 in February 2008. Six months later, she was once out of the sport. And in a while after, she was once already doing tv and lacking the contest.

All of which to mention – she was once in reality excellent.

She additionally performed a TON of tennis, at an overly younger age. Whether or not or now not that contributed to her bodily problems, who is aware of. However the truth that she (and others) ended up out of the sport at a tender age is simply one of the crucial causes at the back of the WTA’s age-eligibility regulations.

Numerous off-court consideration

Golovin was once a made from the Nick Bollettieri academy, spending six years there.

She was once coached by means of more than a few large names, together with Mats Wilander and Brad Gilbert.

Within the post-Anna Kournikova generation (Kournikova is 6 1/2 years her senior), Golovin were given numerous consideration as a result of how she appeared – consideration she looked as if it would revel in.

The entire long ago in 2004, she stated this: “I find it irresistible that individuals are speaking about me, and that I’m being in comparison to Anna Kournikova. It’s a praise. I do know her smartly; our moms are buddies.”

She made the 2009 Sports activities Illustrated Suit factor, together with Daniela Hantuchova and Maria Kirilenko, a part of a function sadly named “Volley of the Dolls”.

Off court docket, she had an extended romance with French football megastar Samir Nasri, even transferring to the U.Ok. to be with him when he performed for Arsenal after which Manchester Town.

Nasri was once infrequently out of the tabloids for more than a few causes, and so it was once a rather high-profile romance.

Then, she met Stade Français rugby megastar Hugo Bonneval in 2013. Their daughter Anastasia grew to become 4 on July 10, and their son turns two in November.

Lifestyles turns out very complete. However as is the case with Clijsters, there might simply now not be a real exchange for that aggressive feeling.

Kim Clijsters returning for a 3rd set

Particularly whilst you’re pressured to prevent at this kind of younger age.

Possibly it’ll occur for her. Possibly, regardless of the entire advances, the illness nonetheless received’t permit her to coach and play on the best point. However no less than she’ll know.

We stay up for seeing what she will do.

But when she does go back, she more than likely received’t be allowed to advertise a having a bet web page.

Golovin doesn’t seem any place at the ITF’s retired lists. So possibly, she will go back each time she’s in a position with no need to head during the ready length.

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