In an interview with L'Équipe
, Tatiana Golovin says her chances of playing again are slim. She has been diagnosed with spondylitis of the back: an arthritic-like condition.
"Learning my condition was a big shock, but now I know what I have, and what I have, you can't cure," she said. "Do I have any chance to play again? It's not advised, but I'm still young. The pain may suddenly disappear.
"If I do have to give up tennis, it will be for launching into humanitarian work - to find something meaningful, where I can see something big.
"Tennis was for me like a baby, whom I carried and who grows up at some time or another; you're proud of him, like I was proud of my tennis."
I'm saddened by the thought that Tatiana's career probably ended in May 2008, when she was only 20.
In 2004, Tatiana was one of the most promising up-and-coming young players - not to mention one of the sexiest!
I came close to inducting her into my Eternal Fanship on three separate occasions (she satisfied my Passion but not my Reason).
Tatiana reached the Birmingham 2004 final, and extended Maria Sharapova to three sets on one of the best days of my life. In fact, I wish I could live that whole week again just to see a little more of Tatiana than I did!
Tatiana also pushed Maria to three sets in a memorable Miami 2006 semi-final, before a horrific ankle-injury forced her to retire. And she gave Maria a tough two-setter in her only Major quarter-final: the US Open 2006.
Tatiana won her only WTA singles-titles in 2007 (Amelia Island and Portorož; she also won the French Open 2004 Mixed Doubles), and continued to look promising as she was runner-up to Justine Henin at Stuttgart and Zürich in October 2007.
But 2008 was a 3:5 disaster for her, and she has not played since.
We will all miss her.
Dr. Andrew Broad