Vania King retires without a chance to say goodbye, childhood pics tribute


American Vania King was supposed to play her last tournament at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, but the COVID-19 pandemic made her retirement silent. I’d like to make a short recap of her career here and share some of her childhood photos that I’ve been collecting over the years.

Speaking to the WTA over the phone last week, the 31-year-old King laughed:

Yeah so, I think I’m retired now? I’m not sure? I don’t know, but like technically I’m retired?

Vania picked up a tennis racquet already at age four.

Vania was born in Monterey Park, California. Her parents, David and Karen, moved to the United States from Taiwan six years before her birth. As Vania says, her family sacrificed a lot to help her realize her tennis dreams. Her parents took her to lessons with the best coaches, drove her to tournaments every weekend and supported her as she started traveling at age twelve.

Six-year-old Vania with her mother.

Her family’s investment paid off. Only four months after turning pro in 2006, Vania reached a career-high of No.50 in the world and that same year won her lone singles title that year in Bangkok. Her biggest accomplishments were in doubles competition, though.

Vania King with sisters Mindy and Ivana.

She clinched 15 WTA doubles titles, including back-to-back Grand Slam doubles titles in 2010 at Wimbledon and US Open, both with Yaroslava Shvedova. In mixed doubles, she played the 2009 French Open final with Marcelo Melo. Vania reached a career-high doubles ranking of No.3 in June 2011.

“I was born a normal weight, then fed generously.” Vania joked when sharing this childhood photo on Instagram. Besides two sisters, Vania also has one brother, Phillip.

Vania was supposed to play the 2020 BNP Paribas Open, then the Miami Open and finally the Volvo Car Open, but since the tennis season has been heavily disrupted because of the coronavirus outbreak, the American’s last match was a doubles quarterfinal defeat at the Indian Wells Oracle Challenger Series 125K event in early March.