Elena Baltacha claims she can play for another 12 years

Elena Baltacha
© PA Photos
British number one Elena Baltacha has decided against retiring from tennis after next year's London Olympics.

Elena Baltacha claims she is no longer planning to retire next year and feels she can play until she is 40.

The British number one was expected to call time on her career after next year's Olympics in London but has made the decision to continue playing.

Baltacha said: "I did say the Olympics was probably going to be my last tournament.

"When I look now how near it is - it will be here before you know it - I think it would be a real shame if I'm enjoying it, if I'm still improving and I'm injury free, to give it up."

The 28-year-old, who entered the world's top 50 for the first time this year, feels that she may now play on for another 12 years.

"I'll probably end up playing 'til I'm 40 now, although I think I'd need a new coach by then!" claimed Baltacha.

Baltacha will begin the new season by competing in the ASB Classic in Auckland next month.

Elena Baltacha
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