Game, Schett, Match ( nice article ) :)
When Austrian Barbara Schett decided she had lost the passion for tennis at the top level, she thought about the appropriate time and place to draw the curtain on her career.
January 2005 was the time, Melbourne was the place, and with a second-round loss to No.26 seed Daniela Hantuchova it was 'suddenly' all over, after 12 years on the professional tennis tour.
"I played Australia because it was my favourite tournament," she said. "I always loved it here. That's why I wanted to quit here."
The 28-year-old from Innsbruck, playing her 43rd Grand Slam tournament - the last 38 consecutively - said she knew her time had come, and she was comfortable with the decision to move on to the next phase of her life.
"The decision was made already in the middle of last year," she said. "I thought if I'm not improving, if the passion is not coming back, then I definitely want to quit."
"Even if I had played really well here I would have stayed with that decision."
A 6-4 6-2 second-round loss was a disappointing end to a 12-year career that included three singles titles and 10 doubles titles, but the former world No.7 failed to clinch a Grand Slam trophy. Her best performance was a quarter-final at the 1999 US Open and numerous fourth-round appearances, four of them at Melbourne Park.
"I always thought I should be ranked much higher than I was," she said. "(But) I think I'm very happy about my career."
It wasn't until the end of the match that the reality of her decision to retire finally struck, and she realised it would be the last time she would play as a professional.
"(It wasn't) very emotional until she had match point and then suddenly I had tears in my eyes," said Schett.
"I knew sooner or later I was going to realise that this was my last point of my career which I have been doing all my life."