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Farina-Elia announces retirement

Published: 12:54PM Thursday October 27, 2005 Source: Reuters

Silvia Farina-Elia has announced her retirement from the women's tennis circuit after struggling back from a recurrence of a shoulder injury.

Farina-Elia, now ranked 28th in the world after being on the fringes of the top 10 three years ago, said her body could no longer cope with the strain of competition.

"I'd already intended to retire at the end of this year, so the decision was in the air," she told Italian media.

"I made my mind up after the tournament in Palermo in July where I had my second shoulder injury. My character pushed me to come back and I tried but the injury is more serious than it first seemed," she added.

Farina lost 6-3 6-2 to Belgian Kirsten Flipkens at the Hasselt event on Tuesday - her last game on the circuit.

The 33-year-old from Rome won three WTA events in her career - all of them at Strasbourg between 2001 and 2003 and she was a regular member of the Italian Fed Cup team.

She is the only player to have beaten both the Williams sisters this year, defeating Venus in Dubai and Serena at Amelia Island.

Farina reached the third round at Wimbledon for each of the last three years and said she considered that to have been the real end of her presence as a top player.

"In a certain sense Wimbledon was the end of my season and indeed my career. Tennis has been part of my life and has been what I have enjoyed doing the most. I will miss competition, the adrenalin of a match but my body has given all it can," she said.