Jana Nejedly, one of Canada's most decorated tennis players, retired Tuesday.

Nejedly, 29, spent a dozen years on the WTA Tour, reaching a career-high ranking of 64th in October 2000.

Born in Prague and raise in Vancouver, the Boston resident currently ranks No. 174 in the world.

"I've been thinking about retirement seriously since the start of the year," Nejedly said. "I'm 29 now and 12 years on the tour takes its toll.

"The competition and depth is so strong now and I just wasn't willing to put in the work necessary to compete at the level I thought I was capable of."

Nejedly started strongly this season, ascending 62 places in the rankings from last year's No. 236, before her gruelling schedule caught up with her.

"I was gung-ho and I was working really hard," Nejedly said. "I actually played pretty well.

"(But) you have to be 100 per cent all the time, mentally and physically. I just found it really difficult."

Nejedly reached the third round of the 1999 Australian Open and 2001 U.S. Open plus holds the Canadian record of 19 Fed Cup victories.

She also represented Canada at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

"Anyone who gets that opportunity, it's the biggest honour you can have as an athlete," Nejedly said. "Those were always my best times, the Fed Cup weeks."

These days, Nejedly is employed as a coach at a Boston-based tennis club and plans to serve as a touring coach for Canada's junior team.

"I'll miss competing," she said. "But in the end, I just wasn't enjoying all the things that went along with it.

"I've been fortunate to have played tennis for a living and I have no regrets. I've seen the world and met some wonderful people.

"And I have tennis to thank for that. I would do it all again."

with files from CP Online