Former Slam champion announces ATP tour retirement after home event exit
Following his exit from the Vienna Open, a former two-time Slam champion has announced his retirement from the ATP tour.
Austrian Jurgen Melzer and his partner fourth ranked singles player Alexander Zverev were beaten in straight sets 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 by John Peers and ninth ranked doubles player Filip Polášek.
Melzer only played five matches this season after he became the sports director for the Austrian Tennis Association in February.
The Austrian announced his retirement from singles in 2018 after beating Milos Raonic in Vienna, but Melzer’s 22-year playing career has come to an end for good after his exit at the ATP 500 Vienna Open.
“I viewed this as a bonus, to get to play one last match at home,” Melzer said. “Saying goodbye at home is special to me. It’s where my career started, it’s where I had a lot of success.”
“I’ve always tried to be a good ambassador for the sport and make this sport as likeable as possible. What I liked today is the past two days, [for those] playing on this court in the city there were not a lot of spectators.
“But today they actually showed up and I could say goodbye and that meant a lot to me…I will remember this one for sure.”
World No.8 in singles ✅
World No.6 in doubles ✅
725 wins and 22 titles across both 🔥
— ITF (@ITFTennis) October 28, 2021
Melzer has enjoyed an illustrious career, winning the Wimbledon and Shanghai Masters doubles in 2010, as well as the US Open doubles in 2011.
“I will always remember my Djokovic match, I will always remember winning twice in Vienna, rolling over the Centre Court at Wimbledon with Philipp [Petzschner] after winning the doubles. These are the sports memories that you cherish,” Melzer said. “But I’m going to take much more of the ATP family with me after my career.”
The Djokovic match that Melzer refers to occurred at the 2010 French Open. Djokovic led Melzer by two sets to love but the Austrian came roaring back to claim a famous victory. This is the only match Djokovic has lost from two sets to love up in his entire career.
Melzer further won back-to-back singles titles at the Vienna Open in 2009 and 2010. Those are two of his five career singles titles on the ATP tour, with 17 more coming in doubles.
“You think of all the stories, of all the things that make you smile,” Melzer continued. “I didn’t think so much about victories. It’s just the time that you’ve spent on tour, meeting all those people, being friends with some, getting closer with some.
“Those are actually the things I’m going to miss the most, not winning or losing. This was the thing that I wanted the most. When I played my last match, that nobody thought, ‘What the heck is he still doing here?’ Or that I’m just not at the same level anymore.
“Of course I’ve played better, but I’ve also played worse in my career than today. I’m still going out at a good level.”
At the end of last season, Melzer even reached the doubles final of the ATP Finals alongside partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The pair lost to Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic there.
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