Kimiko Date-Krumm could be facing the possibility of a second retirement as she continues to be troubled by a knee injury.
The Japanese was ranked as high as number four in the world in 1995, but retired a year later, only to make a sensational return in 2008 at the age of 37.
Now 45, the three-time grand slam semi-finalist underwent arthroscopic surgery on her left knee last week, where it was revealed her meniscus was badly worn out, meaning she may have to step away from tennis for a second time.
"As an athlete, it will be beyond tough to live life without taking part in sport," she said.
"If I decide to have surgery again, it's unavoidable that it will take a long time for me to come back.
"I want to think long and hard before deciding on the best possible option."
Date-Krumm has won eight WTA singles titles, the last of which came in 2009 in Seoul.