If you’re following tennis at all, you’ll know that last year was an eventful one for tennis. Not only did Roger Federer win his 20th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, but there were also a number of significant retirements. Here’s a roundup of some of the biggest retirements and what they mean for the future of tennis.
Kyrgios had a brilliant run in 2017, finally winning a Grand Slam title at the French Open, before falling at the last hurdle at the US Open. It was a frustrating year for the Australian, who battled injuries and illness, and it looked as though he might miss out on some of the greatest moments in tennis. However, the 25-year-old has proven everyone wrong and has had an incredible 2018, winning his first ATP World Tour title in New York City and reaching the final of the French Open. Kyrgios is now a serious contender for the ATP World No. 1 ranking and can look forward to a long and successful career.
The greatest Serbian tennis player of all time finally hung up his racket after 15 incredibly successful years on the ATP World Tour. Djokovic won five Grand Slam titles over the course of his career, with his last coming at the French Open in 2016. The 31-year-old was simply incredible, never dropping a set at a Grand Slam tournament and winning 17 of them, the most out of all active players. Now that he’s officially retired, Djokovic can look forward to spending more time with his family and enjoying life away from the court. The Serb also has a lucrative modeling contract with Dolce & Gabbana, so he won’t be short of offers to work for the Italian design house.
Ferrer is another former world No. 1 who decided to call it quits at the top of his game. The Spaniard, who turned 35 last month, won 11 Grand Slam titles over the course of his career, the most of any player in the Open Era. Most notably, Ferrer won the 2013 French Open, beating Nadal in the final. Like Djokovic, Ferrer hung up his racket after 15 years on the ATP World Tour. Since then, he’s had to manage his activity level, getting in some practice sessions here and there, with his last full match coming in October 2018. Ferrer confirmed last year that he would be retiring after the Australian Open in early January, so it was no surprise to see him walk away with the trophy. The Spaniard will always be remembered as one of the greatest players of all time.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Nadal’s first retirement from tennis after his 2011 season, which saw him win nine Grand Slam titles. Since then, the Spaniard has had to work harder than ever to get back to the top, winning just two Slams tournaments in 2018. While Nadal has still found a way to win titles at the age of 34, it’s clear that the game has slowed down for him. Nevertheless, Nadal will remain one of the greatest players of all time, winning an incredible 92 singles titles and collecting over $23 million in prize money, according to the International Tennis Federation. It’s fair to say that the 11-time Grand Slam winner has left an indelible mark on the game.
Murray is another great British tennis player who retired prematurely this year, hanging up his tennis shoes after losing in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open to Wuhan-based Guo Jinrui. While Murray hasn’t lost a set at a Grand Slam tournament since 2014, the 34-year-old hasn’t won one since 2016, with his last Grand Slam appearance coming at the 2018 French Open, where he lost in the third round. Like Ferrer and Djokovic before him, Murray confirmed last year that he was calling it quits, with the British Open in August being his last event. Tennis will miss the British No. 1.
Gustavo Aguirre is one of the most decorated tennis players of all time, winning eight Grand Slam titles and being the only player to have won the French Open, the US Open, and the Wimbledon twice. The Argentinian player retired in 1999 at the age of 22, but quickly returned to win a total of 12 titles, including the 2001 French Open, the 2001 US Open, and the 2003 Wimbledon. While Aguirre continued to play occasionally, his last appearance came in 2006. It was announced in early December that the 38-year-old had passed away, leaving behind an incredible legacy.
It’s fair to say that last year was a tough one for tennis. Not only did Federer win his 20th Grand Slam title, but there were also a number of significant retirements. Nevertheless, the sport will go on and these great champions will be remembered for years to come.