Archive for the ‘retirement’ Category

adidas weighs in on Justine’s retirement

May 14, 2008

adidas will continue to keep Justine Henin on their sponsorship roster even after retirement. (Yes, folks — it pays not to do blow.) Here’s an e-mail to TSF from the Sport Performance division:

adidas would like to wish the WTA World Number One all the best in her future endeavors.

adidas has been side-by-side with Justine Henin since 2003 during which time she won seven Grand Slams, including a record-equalling four French Open titles at Roland Garros, and Olympic Gold in Athens.

Justine Henin has been an outstanding player for adidas Tennis and will remain an ambassador of the adidas brand, continuing to inspire and enable young athletes worldwide.


Buhskyooze: Justine Henin retires from tennis

May 14, 2008

Justine Henin, speaking from the Justine N-1 Club in Belgium, announces her immediate retirement from tennis. This is the first time someone has retired from the sport while holding the No. 1 ranking.

Share your thoughts: What do you think about Justine’s retirement? Tell us!

More: Read the AP report here

so long to felix mantilla and his neck flap

April 8, 2008

Former top 10 ATPer Felix Mantilla announced his retirement from professional tennis a year after his return (he took a break after successfully recovering from skin cancer).

The most prestigious of his 10 singles titles — all on clay — came at the 2003 Masters Series tournament in Rome.

We’ll miss your neck flap caps, Felix! And everyone, remember: don’t get stingy with your sunblock.

(photo by Getty Images)

kuerten in miami

April 5, 2008

Guga Kuerten lost his first round match against Sebastien Grosjean in the first round of the Sony Ericsson Open. The scoreline: 6-1, 7-5.

While his game might not have held up, his fashion sense sure did. He wore a bright orange/red kit (with red hat, red shoes) from Diadora Guga Kuerten. Le sigh, we’ll sure miss his flair when he retires.

In doubles, he wore white and won one match with Nicolas Lapentti against Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco. They lost in the next round to Aspelin and Knowles. Lapentti also presented Kuerten with an award at an ATP banquet during the tournament.

Looking forward: Kuerten’s next stop on his farewell tour is a Challenger-level tournament in Florianopolis, Brazil. That event begins on April 14.

(photos by Getty Images)

if you’re planning marat’s retirement party…

March 28, 2008

Marat Safin - Sony Ericsson Open 2008

…you can put your good china away — for now.

Although the former World No. 1 is hanging around at No. 90, and has won only one match in six so far this year (he lost to American Bobby Reynolds at this week’s Sony Ericsson Open), he’s not going anywhere:

“I’m trying, and it doesn’t come out my way. But (that) doesn’t mean that I have to stop because I’m not winning matches. I enjoy what I’m doing… I have plenty of cash to do what I want to do, so what I want to do is play tennis.”

I was going to write a post about how much longer Safin can sustain these kinds of losses before he conteplates retirement, but clearly it’s of no concern. Whew.

Safin also reminded reporters to look on the bright side, highlighting his determination to keep playing even after a severe left knee injury three years ago that forced him to change his style of play.

“It takes a lot of courage, you know, to try and still go on the court when you’re ranked 85 in the world… So I need to get some credit for that. I could have retired after I got injured with the knee, I could have retired right there, but I was trying. I’m trying already for three years, so I deserve some credit for that also.

Yep, we’ll give you the credit you deserve. Speaking of giving: adidas, can you give Marat some new clothes? Lime’s time is over.

(photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images; story via Reuters)

rhapsody for a champion

February 22, 2008

A TSF reader bids Monica Seles farewell

Well, my favorite female tennis player retired from the sport this past Valentine’s Day. Monica Seles is yet 34 but a grand dame in the increasingly physical, ever youth-centric arena that is professional tennis. She simply found that she didn’t have any more of those blistering darts in her quiver, and so she made it official, packed it up, packed it. It was expected, a footnote really to a career that saw greatness and fit all too well into the always-spiraling soap opera that is tennis, though hardly by her design.

It’s the wondrous tale of a girl born in Yugoslavia to father Karolj, an artist who drew cartoon animal faces on tennis balls and set up a chain-link “net” stretched across a parking lot on which she bashed shot after shot. Monica’s family relocated to the United States in her parents’ middle age so that she could pursue what was, for a time, one of the most dominant careers in sports. Seles won eight of twelve Grand Slam tournaments and supplanted Steffi Graf atop the world rankings. She became No. 1 thanks to an arsenal of stinging strokes that found uncanny, acute angles and painted the lines of the court. She’s the originator of those fierce, two-note grunts that all of today’s stars punctuate their shots with, and arguably the one who introduced the power game to women’s tennis. Read the rest of the entry…

seles retires!

February 14, 2008

Eight-time Grand Slam champ Monica Seles has announced her retirement from professional tennis through an e-mail from her agent, Tony Godsick.

“Tennis has been and will always be a huge part of my life. I have for some time considered a return to professional play, but I have now decided not to pursue that…

“I will continue to play exhibitions, participate in charity events, promote the sport, but will no longer plan my schedule around the tour. look forward to pursuing other opportunities with the same passion and energy that fueled my dedication to tennis and to devote more time to two of my passions — children and animals. I especially want to thank all my wonderful, loyal fans for all of their support for me over the years. They have inspired me throughout my career in the good times and comforted me in the bad times. I have always been so proud to have such a special group of precious fans to call my very own and felt they were the best an athlete could ever hope to have. I will miss them all as much as I will miss competing in the game of tennis.”

We here at TSF saw very little of Seles in her prime, but are very much aware of how her game helped define how tennis is played today.

Now it makes sense: Seles made an appearance on The Early Show yesterday morning. Closure, perhaps? Nothing new with this interview, really. She talks about the stabbing, how she’s doing these days, etc.

(via DTL, SEWTA)

pat and his ponytail praised; philippoussis ponders life post-tennis

January 29, 2008


Patrick Rafter got some more icing on his already sweet career cake with an induction to the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame. The ceremony, which included an unveiling of a Rafter bust, happened before the 2008 Australian Open women’s final between Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic. Those are some mad crow’s feet. Remember to wear your eye cream, people!

Though we were bigger fans of Pat with his buzz-short hair (circa 2001), it’s only appropriate that they immortalize him in the ponytail he sported while tearing through the North American hardcourts in the late 90s.

Rafter won back-to-back U.S. Open titles (’97, ’98), reached the finals of Wimbledon twice (’00, ’01), and the semis of Roland Garros (’97) and the Australian (’01). See a list of his 11 career titles here.

Meanwhile, his compatriot Mark Philippoussis suffered what could possibly be his last tennis-related injury in December while attempting to qualify for this home Grand Slam. “I won’t lie – but at the moment I’m just enjoying spending time with my family and friends,” he told The Age last week — which means he hasn’t given ATP Tour play any thought. Flip doesn’t even have a tentative schedule planned out. Le sigh, it all went downhill after being up a set and 2-1 (but on serve) against Sampras in the 1999 Wimbledon semis.

(Photos by Getty Images)

>> rafter puts his family first, so he gets naked
>> TSF’s pat rafter archives

short balls thursday:

October 11, 2007

I decorated an heirloom pumpkin last night. God bless having friends who own craft kits. I got burned by a glue gun, though 😦 Not fun. Anyway, here we go with some short balls…

Robert Waltz won’t answer my e-mails: My friend Chris passed along this article co-written by him (and editor Kamakshi Tandon) about the race to the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai. This is why I love the statistician extraodinaire. (

The Scud hits the skids: As a true testament to his focus on the sport (or perhaps conveniently hiding behind it), Aussie Mark Philippoussis — via IMG rep Carlos Fleming — has rubbed out Age of Love flame Amanda Salinas from his life. His focus is now the upcoming Stanford Championships in Dallas.

(OT) Romanticizing rail travel: It’s good to know that train stations this gorgeous are still being built. (Gabion)

Swiss Miss to miss rest of 2007: Sad end to Martina Hingis‘ revived career? (ESPN via women’s tennis blog)

More short balls…

the girl who cried “retirement”?

May 7, 2007

If you haven’t already heard, Belgian Kim Clijsters announced her immediate retirement from professional tennis. She made the decision after losing to Ukranian qualifier Julia Vakulenko at this week’s J&S Cup in Warsaw.

People I’ve talked to are split in their reaction. Is Kim really done with tennis? Or does she just need a break?

clijsters in poland - last matchI don’t think she’s done with tennis quite yet. The sport’s grueling schedule painted her into a corner, with no other choice but to retire. The same way Martina Hingis was driven away. But Hingis ended up with a broken foot, while Kim ended up with a broken spirit. I expect Kim to join Sybille Bammer in the mother-and-active-player club in a few years.

As we reflect on her absence, we should talk about another benefit to SEWTA’s Roadmap 2010: the shortened tour schedule will decrease the rate of injuries and (hopefully) lessen mental exhaustion. The tour forces players to think about tennis 24/7, making it hard for those who want to pursue other interests (i.e., lead a balanced life). Perhaps Kim wouldn’t have retired as early if the seasons were shorter. Or maybe we wouldn’t give Serena so much flack for acting, since she’d do it when no one’s looking.

The SEWTA should go even further and allow players a “leave of absence” — for up to one season — to give players a chance to better plan their careers. (Their ranking should be protected with a formula tied to how long they’re out, and how many points they have t defend.) Let them stay fresh and participate in some “extra-curricular” activities. It’ll raise the profile of the player, and they will most likely bring a new crop of fans to the courts when they’re back on the tour.

Photo: Clijsters playing her last match, at the J&S Cup in Warsaw, Poland.

>> kim clijsters: one of the nicest players i’ve met
>> DirecTV a boon to The Tennis Channel, tennis
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kim clijsters: humble in her celebrity

May 7, 2007

kim clijsters at the u.s. open

Kim Clijsters leaves women’s tennis as one of the top 50 greatest players of all time. Her terrific footwork and strong strokes helped her gain 34 singles titles, including the 2005 US Open, where she won over $2 million dollars in a matter of weeks.

Kim is one of the nicest people I have ever met, signing thousands of autographs at each tournament she played in, and giving out her sweat bands to anyone who asked for them. Her smile lit up stadiums after tough matches, and she always looked like she enjoyed what she did for a living. “It is time for a new life. Time for marriage. Time for children. Time also to relax and to play with my dogs. And especially to spend a lot of time with my family and friends’,” she explains on her website.

Aussie Kim, have fun and hope to see you around again!

CBHM is hosting former TennisJuicer JNP as a guest blogger. JNP can be reached at tenniscbh AT gmail DOT com.

>> DirecTV a boon to The Tennis Channel, tennis
Click here to receive CBHM posts via e-mail, or you can:
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agassi: what will be in his memoir, etc.

March 29, 2007

This post was going to be all about Andre Agassi, but it feels weird writing about present-day Agassi without mentioning Steffi Graf. It’s funny how quickly she disappeared from the limelight after retirement. (Kim Clijsters needs to take a page from her book on how to gracefully move from tennis to motherhood.)

Anyway, it’s been a good month for Agassi: he turned around his real estate woes by having his Agassi Graf Development’s Idaho project — named Tamarack Resort — sell out in seven hours.

And yesterday everyone was abuzz about his unwritten, untitled memoir, which — after bidding that reached the madness usually reserved for retired heads of state (i.e., $5 million plus) — was sold to publisher Alfred A. Knopf. Agassi’s camp didn’t receive the highest bid from Knopf, but a good word from Bill Clinton, whose memoir was published by Knopf, sealed the deal. There is currently no timetable for the book’s release.

From the New York Post:

The book is expected to cover Agassi’s stormy marriage to Brooke Shields, his current one to tennis great Steffi Graf, as well as his work with underpriveleged youths at the Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas.

That’s all fine and good, but Andre you have to answer the meaty questions, like what made you pick on Karol Kucera, and… hmm, I’ll let this picture ask the other question:

smashnova’s swan song

March 14, 2007

Yesterday Haaretz published a story about Anna Smashnova, who has decided to retire after this year’s Wimbledon. She might continue to play Fed Cup matches through next year if Israel if it makes it back to World Group I next season.

Have a great 4 months before retirement, Anna!

Here are pictures of some of the trophies she won in her 16-year career:


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