Doubles specialist Suarez retires at 31

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BUENOS AIRES, Sep 19 (Reuters) Argentina's Paola Suarez has retired from tennis after a career in which she won 44 doubles titles, including eight grand slams.

''It's the end of an era,'' Suarez, 31, told Argentine television. ''It's time to start another life.'' Suarez won 30 of her doubles titles, including all eight in grand slam tournaments, with Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual and the pair reached the top of the world rankings in 2002.

Her grand slam doubles title tally with Ruano Pascual ran to four in the French Open, three in the US Open and one in the Australian Open. She never won at Wimbledon.

She said that one of the highlights of her career was winning a bronze medal for Argentina in the doubles at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

''Wimbledon is the one which is missing from the collection,'' Suarez, who also won four singles titles, said.

''It will be very difficult to live without tennis. It has been many years of sacrifices, travelling, anecdotes and experiences.'' REUTERS SSC RK2057

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