Tennis star Oudin retires at age of 25

Los Angeles (AFP) –


American Melanie Oudin announced her retirement from tennis on Friday, ending a career hindered by injury and illness at the age of 25.

Oudin made a splash when she reached the quarter-finals of the 2009 US Open at the age of 17. She beat two top-15 players and Maria Sharapova -- then a three-time Grand Slam champion -- along the way.

But Oudin's bid to move from the top of the junior ranks to the elite level on the WTA tour has been hampered by multiple health issues.

That included an abnormal heart rhythm that was long mis-diagnosed as panic attacks, and rhabdomyolysis, a muscle condition that causes weakness, fatigue and soreness.

"My dream was always to play professional tennis at places like the US Open with the best in the world," Oudin wrote in a statement posted on her Twitter account.

"I have been lucky enough to live my dream for the last nine years since I turned pro in 2008.

"Unfortunately, since the end of 2012, I have been struck with numerous health issues and injuries. I would work so hard to come back after being out, and then something else would happen."

Oudin departs the tour having won one title, in 2012 at Birmingham.

She won the US Open mixed doubles title with fellow American Jack Sock in 2011, played on the US Fed Cup team from 2009-2011 and reached a career high 31 in the world in 2010.

"It wasn't exactly the entire career I had dreamed of, but things don't always go as planned," Oudin said.