At 18, I was playing in a Wimbledon final and making millions as a tennis star — but I gave up to be a nun

ANDREA JAEGER reached two Grand Slam finals as a teenager before retiring from tennis in 1985 aged just 19.

The American was a child prodigy who quickly made it among the best after turning professional as a 14-year-old.

Andrea Jaeger reached number 2 in the WTA rankings as a teenager


Andrea Jaeger reached number 2 in the WTA rankings as a teenagerPhoto credit: Getty
Jaeger faced Martina Navratilova in two Grand Slam finals


Jaeger faced Martina Navratilova in two Grand Slam finalsPhoto credit: Getty

Jaeger won the French Open mixed doubles title alongside Jimmy Arias in 1981 before reaching the singles final at Roland Garros a year later.

She lost 7-6, 6-1 to Martina Navratilova before losing to her again a year later as an 18-year-old in the Wimbledon final, this time 6-1, 6-1.

The starlet peaked at No. 2 in the WTA Rankings but had to retire from the sport in 1985 at the age of 19 due to a shoulder injury.

Jaeger has earned over £1million in prize money and much more in advertising revenue in her short career.

After her retirement, she dedicated her life to helping others.

In 1990, she founded the Silver Lining Foundation, which cares for children with cancer.

As soon as she hung up her tennis racquet, she went to college to study theology and spiritual training—and then became a nun.

Jaeger explained her career change in a 2008 interview with the postsaid, “I just knew that God existed and that we were friends and had a personal relationship. None of my family members knew that I prayed every day of my life.”


Jaeger became a nun after retiring at the age of 19


Jaeger became a nun after retiring at the age of 19Photo credit: Getty

“In August 2006 I received an Associate Degree in Ministry Education and Theology. Then I took part in a program for Dominican sisters.

“It’s a strict discipline. I wake up at 4 a.m., do my prayers and spiritual study, then start work at 5 or 6 a.m. to fundraise, plan programs, and implement those programs.”

“Every day, somewhere in the world, something happens for children.

“How often I wear the nun’s habit depends on what I’m doing. I have three of these. They get dirty pretty quickly. I keep pinning the robes on buses and escalators. Once I jumped into a taxi and left half of it.” outside the door.

“The first week I wore it to a major world conference in New York City. A bird walked up to me and went to the toilet.”

“I thought that was God’s way of saying, ‘Maybe it’s okay to be a little muddy around the edges — you’re the one who used to dodge balls on the tennis court.’

“I believe that I will always be a sister. I have zest for life and love, and that’s easier to express in this area.”

In a haunting interview with the Independent Last year, Jaeger spoke about the harassment she faced as a teenager on the WTA Tour.

She said: “I’ve had situations where I’d get my racquet and the strings were cut. When I tried to put my shoes on, someone left razor blades in them.”

Jaeger went on to reveal that she no longer changed in the dressing room due to the treatment she received.

And she also said she was sexually harassed by an unnamed WTA employee who is no longer with the organization after she was forced to drink at a sponsored event.

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Jaeger said: “I rode in the car with her and her friend. The person swayed while driving and I remember hitting either a garbage or a mailbox. When we got to my apartment, she walked me to the door and tried on something with it.” Me.

“She tried to kiss me. I was so sick I crawled up the stairs and tried not to throw up so my dad wouldn’t see me.”


ClareFora is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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