After more than 15 years competing on the international tennis tour, South African Chani Scheepers has confirmed her retirement.

“I’ve decided to officially retire from playing professional tennis. It’s been an honor to represent South Africa around the world, and I’m proud of all I’ve achieved throughout my career. I’ve had some amazing experiences and will have great memories of my time on tour. Some of the highlights I’ll remember are winning my first WTA singles title in Guangzhou, reaching the doubles semifinals at Wimbledon, and helping the South African team earn promotion in Fed Cup. I’m looking forward to starting the next chapter now, and will still be travelling a limited schedule on tour coaching Alison Riske, which is an exciting new challenge for me. A big thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged me throughout my playing career…it wouldn’t have been the same wonderful experience without you!”

Born in Harrismith, Free State, 31 year old Scheepers turned professional in 2000. Scheepers reached a career high singles ranking of 37 (October 2011) and doubles ranking of 42 (April 2014). Scheepers has won one singles (Guangzhou 2011) and one doubles title (Strasbourg 2013) on the WTA tour, as well as twelve singles and twenty doubles titles on the ITF tour during her career. Scheepers also was also a four times WTA doubles runner up during her career.

Earl Grainger, South African Fed Cup captain said Scheepers “epitomised the word professionalism”. “ Chani had a great career and will be sorely missed. I would like to thank Chani for being part of the Fed Cup team that got promoted to World Group 1. Chani was such an inspiration not only to myself but to the whole team and the whole of South Africa. I wish Chani all the best with the road ahead”.

Tennis South Africa President, Gavin Crookes said that Scheepers played a huge part in the promotion and development of the game in South Africa throughout her career. “heroes are important and Chani was certainly one of them, a player who impressed with her professionalism and work ethic and total commitment to being the best player possible. We salute you Chani and wish you well in your retirement.”