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Spaniards Lopez, Andujar Among 2023 Retirees
As we continue our review of the 2023 ATP Tour season, we look back at some of the biggest names who called time on their playing careers this year. Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Pablo Andujar lead Part 1 of this story, with Americans John Isner and Jack Sock to feature in Part 2 tomorrow.
One of the longest careers in the history of the ATP Tour reached its conclusion when Lopez said goodbye to the circuit at age 41, after 26 seasons as a professional. The former World No. 12 played his final tournament on home soil at the Mallorca Championships.
“I feel very proud of having been able to make it through [more than] 20 years as a professional without missing one, but also of having left a good impression on my fellow players and on the people I have spent time with,” he said.
It was a fitting finale on the grass courts of Mallorca, with Lopez's 87 tour-level wins on the surface the most of any Spaniard. He also enjoyed what he called his "best week" on the ATP Tour on grass, when he was crowned champion in both singles and doubles at the Cinch Championships at The Queen's Club in 2019. The former World No. 12 ended 2002-20 in the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Read Lopez Tribute
Andujar also closed his career on Spanish soil, bowing out at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Valencia in November. The four-time tour-level champion was sent off with an emotional tribute after retiring at the age of 37, with more than 400 tour-level matches under his belt.
The Spaniard peaked at No. 32 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 2015, after which he overcame three elbow operations to ultimately return to the Top 50 in 2019. He is now a Player Representative on the ATP Board of Directors.
“I used to watch all the tournaments as a boy and I always thought I could compete in them,” he said. “The fact that I was able to compete in them means my dream came true.” Read Andujar Tribute
Photo: Copa Faulcombridge
Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah
Even retirement couldn't separate these lifelong friends and longtime doubles partners. Cabal (37) and Farah (36) jointly announced their decision to retire in August, competing at the US Open and earning a farewell win for Colombia in Davis Cup before signing off.
“We feel like we’re doing the right thing. It’s a difficult moment," said Cabal. “We’ve been playing this sport for 30 years, dreaming of life at the top. It’s hard to say goodbye, but everything comes to an end, and this is a good point, we feel it is a good moment. It’s not because of the results. It’s because of the time for each of us.”
Together, the duo won 19 tour-level titles, including two Grand Slam championships. They became the World No. 1 doubles team in 2019. Read Cabal/Farah Tribute.
Photo: James Chance/Getty Images
Gojowczyk closed his 18-year career in Metz, where he won his lone tour-level title as a qualifier in 2017.
The 34-year-old German reached the Top 40 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 2018, when he reached two tour-level finals and notched 23 wins. His biggest Grand Slam result was a fourth-round run as a qualifier at the 2021 US Open, where he pushed Carlos Alcaraz to a fifth set.
“My time as a tennis pro was filled with incredible moments, challenges, and unforgettable experiences — both on and off the court,” Gojowczyk told ATPTour.com. “I will cherish these memories forever.” Read Gojowczyk Tribute.
Pella, a former Top 20 player, played his final tournament at the US Open — after which he took his entire family on a holiday to Disneyland.
The 33-year-old Argentine's biggest triumphs include winning the 2016 Davis Cup title with his country and the 2019 Sao Paulo singles crown. He reached four additional tour-level finals as well as the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2019.
“It was an incredible journey, with so many amazing things that allowed me to experience moments that most people can’t and for that I’m eternally grateful,” he wrote on social media. Read Pella Tribute.
Photo: Cordoba Open
Portugal's Sousa put a bow on his professional career at his home club, at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Lisbon. The 35-year-old won eight Challenger crowns in his career and is one of four Portuguese men to crack the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in the past decade.
“I'm happy and proud of my career and have no regrets," he said. “Most people don't know the struggles we go through; it's a very tough career. I've made some mistakes of course, but I'm happy with my achievements.” Read Sousa Tribute.
Jaziri's career-high Pepperstone ATP Ranking of No. 42 is the highest ranking ever achieved by a Tunisian. His final match came an an ATP Challenger Tour event in his home nation in May, bringing an end to a 20-year career that included more than 100 tour-level wins.
“This is the end of a career as a tennis player and hopefully we have a good career and success in life after tennis as well,” he said after being honoured at the Nitto ATP Finals. “Tennis gave me a lot of opportunities and I’m very glad to be part of the ATP family.” Read More.
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