Muster to retire from full-time tennis, again
Originally published on: 22/09/11 11:14
Thomas Muster will retire from full-time tennis this October a year after making his return to the professional game at the age of 42.
The most successful player to come out of Austria, Muster managed 44 career titles since turning pro in 1985 and staged a remarkable comeback in 1989, six months after being hit by a car before the final of the Miami tournament, going on to top the world rankings seven years later.
He decided to make another surprising return to the game in 2010 after 11 years away from competition – having never formally announced his retirement – but believes his time on the full-time professional circuit is almost up.
“You should not drag it along forever,” said Muster on Wednesday. “I wanted to relieve competitive tennis again and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Muster was defeated in the opening round of his first three tournaments on his comeback last year, but did manage a victory over world No.570 Borut Puc in his fourth. So far in 2011, he has won just one match – but it amounted to a significant scalp – beating world No.119 Leonardo Mayer 4-6 7-5 6-2 in a challenger in Todi, Italy.
Handed a wildcard for the Erste Bank Open in Vienna next month, a few weeks after he celebrates his 44th birthday, the world No.847 has no plans to play at the top level beyond the event – at which he has reached the final three times.
“Vienna will definitely be my last appearance in an ATP event,” said the 1995 French Open champion. “Maybe I play a few challengers next year, but that will be it.
“I’ve made good progress this year but my age is counting,” Muster continued. “For me, I know what’s still possible if I put even more effort into it. But I have a family and also would get to my physical limits one day.”