Briton Naomi Cavaday retires from tennis

Naomi Cavaday
Cavaday plans to concentrate on coaching in the future

British number five Naomi Cavaday has retired from professional tennis at the age of 22.

The Kent-born left-hander reached a career-high ranking of 174 last May, and is currently 231st in the world.

Cavaday, who battled depression and an eating disorder during her six-year career, will now focus on becoming a coach at the Lawn Tennis Association.

"What a fantastic opportunity I have had and I am so proud of what I have achieved," she said.

In a statement on the LTA website,external-link Cavaday added: "Throughout my career I have had big struggles with an eating disorder and depression, but I'm pleased to say that I have worked through and overcome these issues and I am now in a great place to be able to make this decision, even though it has been a difficult decision to make.

"I want to be honest about what I have been through to raise awareness of these difficulties that many people go through and athletes are no exception."

Cavaday, who won a clay-court title in Brescia on the second-tier ITF tour last April, has not played in 2011.

She played in the main draw at Wimbledon three times, losing to Ai Sugiyama in 2006, Martina Hingis in 2007 - after holding two match points - and Venus Williams in 2008.

Cavaday turned down a wildcard for last year's Wimbledon and chose to enter the qualifying tournament, saying after defeat by Andrea Hlavackova: "I don't regret my decision.

"It was the right thing to do and with how I was playing I definitely could have qualified."