Baltacha expects to perform retirement U-turn
Elena Baltacha has admitted she is unlikely to retire from tennis after London 2012.
The British No. 1 had previously said she would consider her future after next summer's Olympic Games, but she now claims she would be willing to renege on her decision.
Having broken into the world's top 50 for the first time last year, the 28-year-old admits she would be foolish to quit if she was still playing well.
"I did say the Olympics was probably going to be my last tournament," Baltacha told sportinglife.com.
"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. I look at how I love it now and it would be silly for me to stand firm and say 'let's stop' if I'm heading in the right direction."
Having battled a series of injury and illnesses earlier in her career, Baltacha is in the best form of her career, and the world No. 51 says she now feels like she could carry on playing for many years to come.
"I spent nine years on the ITF circuit trying to get into the top 100 and getting into a good position," Baltacha said. "The last two years I've achieved a lot. It would be silly not to carry on as long as I feel I still love it and my ranking's getting better. If that's the case, I'll carry on. I'll probably end up playing til I'm 40 now, although I think I'd need a new coach by then!"
Baltacha kicks off her season in Auckland ahead of the Australian Open which begins on January 16. With the Olympics to look forward to, Baltacha admits 2012 will be a big year.
"The only target I've set is, of course, the ranking - I'll keep chipping away at that. I've never put a number on it," Baltacha said. "I broke the top 50 last season whch was great. It's just a matter of performing consistently on a week-to-week basis. If you do that you will move up. It's also the Olympics, so this is a very big year for me. I'll make sure I'm fully prepared for that."