Tennis: Former world No 1 Ferrero retires
Juan Carlos Ferrero’s singles career drew to an emotional end when he lost 7-5, 6-3 to fellow Spaniard and close friend Nicolas Almagro in the Valencia Open first round yesterday.
The former world No 1, who won the French Open in 2003 but was hampered by injuries throughout his career, Ferrero announced last month he would retire after playing his home event.
Sixth seed Almagro, 27, Ferrero’s junior by five years, had too much power and speed for his mentor in an entertaining match in which the pair exchanged smiles and jokes.
The younger man seemed to be suffering from a right shoulder problem late in the second set but shrugged off the injury and sealed victory on his first match point when the unseeded Ferrero netted a return.
The pair embraced at the net and the 32-year-old was given a rousing ovation by the crowd as he fought back tears before flinging his racket, shirt and various other personal items into the stands.
“It’s been a long time since I enjoyed myself so much on a tennis court,” said Ferrero who will join up with singles top seed David Ferrer in the doubles today.
“It was an honour to finish my career playing you, I think you are a great champion,” he told Almagro, whose coaching staff he will join on a part-time basis next year.
“I simply want to thank everyone for all their support, not just this year but throughout all the years I have played here,”
On the opening days of the WTA Championships in Istanbul, Agnieska Radwanska of Poland defeated Czech Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-2, while American Serena Williams overcame Germany’s Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-1.
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