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Tenis: Federer, Del Potro Headline 2022 Retirements

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ATPTour.com’s annual season-in-review series looks back at 2022’s best matches, biggest upsets, most dramatic comebacks and more. Today, we recap some of the most notable player retirements from the year.

From Juan Martin del Potro’s Buenos Aires farewell in February to Roger Federer’s Laver Cup send-off in September, the 2022 ATP Tour season saw the close of many storied careers. Some players bowed out on home soil, while others saved their final outing for the Grand Slam stage.

Former Top 5 stars Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kevin Anderson and Tommy Robredo were among those to sign off this season, along with former doubles World No. 2 Bruno Soares. ATPTour.com looks at the careers of all those men and more who called time on their playing careers this year.

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Philipp Kohlschreiber (Career High: No. 6 singles)

“I really didn’t plan to announce it… It was just that day I felt, ‘OK, it’s time.’”

One of the most consistent careers in ATP Tour history came to an end somewhat spontaneously in June when Kohlschreiber won his first-round qualifying match at Wimbledon and then promptly revealed it would be his final tournament. The German star notched 478 wins across 20 seasons on Tour, lifted eight tour-level crowns, and was a constant presence in the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings between March 2006 and February 2021 (much of which was spent in the Top 50).

“I can stop and say I had a great time,” Kohlschreiber, who listed lifting the trophy three times at home in Munich among his career highlights, later told ATPTour.com. “I didn’t overdo it. I go away with a big smile.” Read Tribute.

Ken Skupski (Career High: No. 44 doubles)

Also taking to court as a professional for the final time at Wimbledon was British doubles star Skupski. The seven-time ATP Tour titlist teamed up with countryman Jonny O’Mara for his 14th and final appearance at his home Grand Slam, where a third-round defeat ended a career in which he claimed 141 tour-level doubles wins.

“Tennis has given me so much over the years and I expect it will continue to give me plenty more in the future,» Skupski wrote in the post announcing his retirement. «I would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported me along the way. I’ve made some amazing friends, competed with many amazing players and shared the court with some legends of the game.”

Despite calling time on his career, Skupski remains a familiar face on Tour as coach of his younger brother, the joint-No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings Neal Skupski. Three of Ken’s tour-level crowns were won alongside Neal, including his sole ATP 500 trophy in Acapulco in 2021. Read More.

Sam Querrey (Career High: No. 11 singles)

Described by his friend Steve Johnson as someone who “always had a smile”, 10-time tour-level titlist Querrey was a hugely popular figure during his 16-year career on Tour. That did not stop the American becoming a serious presence on court, however. His huge serve and powerful groundstrokes helped him reach a career-high No. 11 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 2018.

Querrey was renowned for his ability to go toe-to-toe with the best in the world, and on the biggest stages. The Californian earned 23 victories against Top 10 opponents in his career, defeating Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka twice each, and in 2017 he reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

“I feel I was pretty consistent over the years,” Querrey told ATPTour.com during his final event, the 2022 US Open. “I only missed a couple of majors over a 17-year run. I was a pretty good big-match player. I feel like the better the opponent, the better I played and had some great wins.” Read Tribute.

Bruno Soares (Career High: No. 2 doubles)

After calling time on his time as a professional player at the US Open, Soares can reflect on one of the most illustrious careers in the recent history of ATP Tour doubles.

Having won his first ATP Tour doubles title in 2008, the Brazilian went on to win 35 tour-level men’s doubles titles and six Grand Slam trophies — three in men’s doubles and three in mixed doubles. Much of his success came across two stints playing with Briton Jamie Murray. The pair claimed 12 tour-level titles, including major victories at the Australian Open and the US Open, and finished 2016 as the year-end No. 1 duo.

“Tennis is my life,” Soares told ATPTour.com after his final match alongside Murray at the US Open. “The sport is in my blood. It’s in my DNA… I’ve been trying to give back my whole career, but now is the real time when I’m going to have a little bit more time to give back. I’m never going to say goodbye to tennis.” Read Tribute.

Roger Federer
Photo Credit: Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images

Roger Federer (Career High: No. 1 singles)

One of the greatest players the ATP Tour has ever seen and a true global sporting icon, Federer’s storied career ended on an emotional night in London at September’s Laver Cup. The Swiss took to the doubles court for Team Europe alongside fellow ATP Tour legend Rafael Nadal, a fitting end to a career in which he produced some of the most scintillating tennis the sport has ever seen.

Among Federer’s career achievements were 310 weeks spent at World No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, including a record 237 consecutive weeks from 2 February 2004 until 18 August 2008, and 103 tour-level titles including 20 Grand Slam crowns. Immensely popular wherever he went, the Swiss was voted Fans’ Favourite in the annual ATP Awards for 19 consecutive years from 2003 to 2021.

“I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart,” wrote Federer at the end of his letter announcing his retirement. “To everyone around the world who has helped make the dreams of a young Swiss ball kid come true… To the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you.” Read Tributes.

Andreas Seppi (Career High: No. 18 singles)

Often cited as one of the hardest-working professionals on Tour, Seppi’s career numbers make impressive reading — three ATP Tour titles, 386 tour-level match wins and 15 consecutive years (2005-19) finishing inside the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Yet after bringing his professional playing career to a close in October, the Italian was just happy to have spent 20 years doing a job that he loved.

“I would have signed immediately if somebody would have told me, ‘You could play until the age of 38’,” Seppi told ATPTour.com. “I feel really blessed that I could do this for such a long time.”

Opponents that Seppi defeated on Tour included Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Daniil Medvedev, but it is his longevity at the top of the game that stands out. Perhaps most notably, the Italian competed in a remarkable 66 consecutive Grand Slam main draws from Wimbledon in 2005 through this year’s Australian Open, the third-longest streak in history. Read Tribute.

Gilles Simon (Career High: No. 6)

Dubbed ‘a professor on the tennis court’ by his countryman Benjamin Bonzi, Simon was renowned on Tour for his elite tennis brain. It remained as sharp as ever right until the final tournament of his career, November’s Rolex Paris Masters, where he battled past powerful opponents in Andy Murray and Taylor Fritz to give his 20-year career one magical final flourish.

Simon won 504 tour-level matches and 14 ATP Tour titles in a standout career that saw him rise to a career-high No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 2009. Despite his ability to still compete with the best and his undoubted continued love for the game, the 37-year-old Frenchman was grateful to be able to choose his home ATP Masters 1000 event in Paris to bring his life on Tour to a close.

«I just feel so lucky to have been a tennis player,” Simon told ATPTour.com after the final match of his career in the French capital. “It’s what I have always wanted to be. I was a professional tennis player for a long time, and that’s why I was lucky twice, and I could stop when I wanted, and so I have been lucky three times.» Read Tribute.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Career High: No. 5 singles)
The former World No. 5 Tsonga called time on his 18-year career at Roland Garros, bringing his joyful game to the fans in his home nation one final time. Paris was also the setting for his first ATP Masters 1000 title, which he won in 2008 on his way to qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time.

The 6-foot-2 Frenchman masterfully combined power and athleticism in his game, which — coupled with his knack for entertainment — earned him fans across the globe. 

While injuries impacted the later stages of his career, Tsonga spent more than a decade inside the Top 20 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in his prime. He is one of three players to defeat Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic while they were World No. 1, and is also one of three to defeat the legendary trio at the majors. Read Tribute.

Kevin Anderson (Career High: No. 5 singles)
A seven-time ATP Tour champion and two-time Grand Slam finalist, Anderson played more than 600 tour-level matches in his career, which ended this year in Miami — not far from his South Florida residence. In a nice bit of symmetry, the South African lifted his first tour-level title in Johannesburg, the city of his birth, in 2011.

Despite battling injuries throughout his career, Anderson made his biggest splash in his later years on the ATP Tour, reaching the US Open final in 2017 and the Wimbledon final in 2018. By finishing at No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 2018, Anderson (then 32) became the second-oldest player to finish in the year-end Top 10 for the first time since 1973.

Anderson also left his mark off the court, winning the 2018 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award and spending years on the ATP Player Council, most recently as its president. Read Tribute.

Tommy Robredo
Quality Sport Images/Barcelona Open Banc Sabadelle

Tommy Robredo (Career High: No. 5 singles)
One of the longest careers in ATP Tour history came to a close in April as Spain’s Robredo hung up his racquet in Barcelona, at the same tournament where earned his first win.

Robredo spent 23 years at the game’s top level and won 12 ATP Tour titles before retiring weeks shy of his 40th birthday. One of his standout seasons came in 2006, when reached a career-high of No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and competed at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Robredo’s 533 tour-level wins are sixth-most among Spaniards. That figure includes 37 victories at Roland Garros, where he reached five quarter-finals. He also won three Davis Cups in his country’s colours. Read Tribute.

Frederik Nielsen (Career High: No. 17 doubles)
Denmark’s Nielsen, who won the 2012 Wimbledon doubles title alongside Jonathan Marray, closed the book on his career one decade later at the 2022 Australian Open. The three-time tour-level titlist reached a career high of World No. 17 and also counts his qualification for the 2012 Australian Open singles main draw among his career highlights.

A Davis Cup stalwart for Denmark, Nielsen played in 45 ties between 2003 and 2021. Following his 20-year career, he now captains his country’s team in addition to his work as a national coach at the Danish Tennis Federation. Read Tribute.

Rogerio Dutra Silva (Career High: No. 63 singles, No. 84 doubles)
Dutra Silva ended his 19-year career in Rio de Janeiro in February. The Brazilian paired with countryman Orlando Luz at the ATP 500 event, bowing out in front of a full crowd full of family and friends.

He also won his lone tour-level title on home soil, winning the doubles crown in his hometown of Sao Paulo in 2017 with countryman Andre Sa. In singles, Dutra Silva reached four ATP Tour quarter-finals and notched five Grand Slam main-draw wins, including two from two sets down.

The 38-year-old hopes to return to the ATP Tour as a coach after taking some time off. Read Tribute.

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Juan Martin del Potro (Career High: No. 3 singles)
Del Potro gave his many fans around the world — and particularly those in his home nation of Argentina — one final show as he played his first match since 2019 in Buenos Aires this February. His retirement at age 33 came after many years of injury struggles, though he remained a larger-than-life figure on the ATP Tour even during his time away.

Del Potro’s decorated career is highlighted by a US Open triumph in 2009 — when he ended Roger Federer’s five-year title reign in the final — among 22 tour-level titles. His most recent trophy came in Indian Wells during a 2018 season in which he reached a career-high ATP Ranking of World No. 3. Del Potro also progressed to a second US Open final that year, in what turned out to be his penultimate Grand Slam appearance.

In addition to four Nitto ATP Finals showings, including a run to the title match in 2009, del Potro is also a two-time Olympic medalist, winning singles bronze in 2012 (London) and silver in 2016 (Rio de Janeiro). Read Tribute.

Sergiy Stakhovsky (Career High: No. 31 singles, 33 doubles)
Ukraine’s Stakhovsky retired from tennis in January as he took up arms in his nation’s war effort. The 36-year-old reached the Top 40 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in both singles and doubles, claiming four tour-level titles in each discipline with a perfect 8-0 record in finals.

Stakhovksy’s most memorable singles win came at Wimbledon in 2013, when — as the World No. 116 — he stunned defending champion Roger Federer in the second round. He closed the curtains on his career following this year’s Australian Open. Read More.

Ukraine crisis relief

David Marrero (Career High: No. 5 doubles)
Marrero had a standout doubles career, highlighted by his run to the Nitto ATP Finals title in 2013 alongside Fernando Verdasco. The Spaniard, who climbed as high as No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings, lifted 14 tour-level trophies in his career, including an ATP Masters 1000 triumph in 2015 in Rome with Pablo Cuevas.

Dudi Sela (Career High: No. 29 singles)
Isreael’s Sela finished inside the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 10 of 11 seasons from 2007-17, reaching his career high of No. 29 in 2009. Sela reached two ATP Tour finals and won 23 ATP Challenger Tour titles. By reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2009, he became the first Israeli to reach that stage at a major since Amos Mansdorf at the 1992 Australian Open.

Jonathan Erlich (Career High: No. 5 doubles)
Erlich claimed 22 tour-level doubles titles in a long and successful career that began in 1996. The Buenos Aires-born Israeli, who compiled 415 tour-level wins, enjoyed much of his success alongside countryman Andy Ram. The pair won four titles together in 2006 and another two in 2008, at the Australian Open and Indian Wells. Ehrlic also won the 2010 Queen’s Club title with Novak Djokovic.

Marc Lopez (Career High: No. 3 doubles)
Lopez said adios to the Tour in Madrid after teaming up with fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. He closed his career as one of the most decorated doubles players in modern tennis, with a total of 14 titles to his name, including the 2012 Nitto ATP Finals crown (with Marcel Granolelrs), the 2016 Roland Garros title (with Feliciano Lopez) and the gold medal from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (with Rafael Nadal, whom he now coaches). Read Tribute.

Also Retiring In 2022: Blaz Kavcic, Dominic Inglot, Go Soeda (Read Tribute), Nicholas Monroe, Ruben Bemelmans, Stephane Robert, Tobias Kamke, Yannick Maden

Read more from our Best of 2022 series. 

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