Knowing when to leave

“The smartest thing anyone can learn,” asserted Burt Bacharach.

With that in mind, let’s look at German tennis pro Annika Beck, born on this day in 1994.

Annika Beck in action

Her professional debut in 2009 was not auspicious, but by 2012 she’d climbed into the list of ranked players, and occasionally she’d make the main draw at a tournament without having to go through a qualifying round. She finished the year near the bottom of the Top 100.

Annika Beck in inaction

She won her first WTA title in 2014, her second the following year. But 2016 was not a particularly good year for Beck, and she began thinking about her next career, which, she decided, would be in the field of medicine.

Annika Beck and friend on the red carpet

Her [translated] announcement on Twitter:

In the Championships at Wimbledon in 2015, she defeated Heather Watson in the first round:

She was still enthusiastic about the game in 2015; three years later, she was gone. Perhaps she knew when to leave.

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