Four-time Paralympic medallist Jordanne Whiley hangs up her racket

The 29-year-old Briton announces retirement from wheelchair tennis 17 Nov 2021
Jordanne Whiley smiles to the camera while holding the British flag
Jordanne Whiley celebrates after making history for Great Britain at Tokyo 2020
ⒸGetty Images
By Marshall Thomas | For the ITF

Four-time Paralympic medallist and 13-time Grand Slam champion Jordanne Whiley has announced her retirement from wheelchair tennis.

Citing the sport as "the biggest chapter of (her) life", the 29-year-old Briton noted how "there comes a time in everyone’s life where we must close the current chapter and move on to another."

Whiley first picked up a racket aged three and was awarded her first wheelchair tennis trophy when she accompanied her dad Keith to the Israel Open, where the organisers recognised her as the youngest wheelchair tennis player they had ever seen.

The following year, Whiley attended her first wheelchair tennis camps in Great Britain and went on to win her first ITF Futures title in Cardiff at the end of 2006, aged 14.

Three-time Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters girls’ singles champion between 2007 and 2009, Whiley became world No. 1 junior in January 2009 and spent her last two seasons as a junior at the top of the girls’ rankings. She was also part of the Great Britain team that won the World Team Cup junior title in Sweden in 2007.

As a senior, Whiley enjoyed her most successful seasons between 2013 and 2016. She first paired up with regular doubles partner Yui Kamiji in the second half of 2013, the duo winning three of their four tournaments together that season and ending 2013 as Doubles Masters champions, having also reached the women’s doubles final at Wimbledon.

The partnership reached even greater heights in 2014, winning the calendar year Grand Slam in women’s doubles and the first four of their 12 career titles together before adding a second Doubles Masters title.

Whiley went on to win her only Grand Slam singles title at the 2015 US Open, her victory in New York sandwiched between back-to-back British Open Super Series singles titles in Nottingham in 2015 and 2016.

After Whiley and Kamiji’s fourth successive Wimbledon title together in 2017, Whiley revealed that she had been 11 weeks pregnant when they won the title and she immediately went on maternity leave.

After the birth of son Jackson in January 2018, Whiley made a highly successful comeback to the Tour in 2019, winning six singles and six doubles titles before 2020 saw Whiley and Kamiji add to their Grand Slam doubles titles at the Australian Open and the US Open.

Whiley won her last singles title at the 2020 Bolton Indoor, while her final doubles title and final Grand Slam title with Kamiji also came on home soil, in Britain, earlier this year when the duo claimed their fifth Wimbledon title at Whiley’s "favourite tournament."

Whiley celebrates the 2014 Wimbledon title with partner Kamiji Ⓒ Getty Images

In September, Whiley became the first British woman to win a singles tennis medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, adding her bronze medal to the two doubles bronze medals she won with Lucy Shuker at London 2012 and Rio 2016. Whiley and Shuker created more history in Tokyo, becoming the first Brits to win a women’s doubles silver medal.

Often with Shuker alongside her in the Great Britain team, Whiley also has three World Team Cup silver medals and five bronze medals from nine senior women's team appearances.   

On announcing her retirement on her social media channels, Whiley said "Tokyo was the perfect ending to a successful career and (she) leave(s) the sport with no regrets and a heart filled with pride."