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Fri Apr 18 16:13:03 SAST 2014

Former No1 Ferrero to retire after Valencia Open

Sapa-AP | 13 September, 2012 08:370 Comments
The Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2012 - Day Four
Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain plays a backhand against Gael Monfils of France in their second round match during day four of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2012 at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre on May 15, 2012 in Rome, Italy
Image by: Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

Former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero will end his 14-year playing career after competing in his hometown Valencia Open next month.

Ferrero moved to the top of the rankings in 2003 and remained there for eight weeks after winning the French Open and reaching the US Open final, where he lost to another recently retired former No. 1, Andy Roddick.

In 14 years as a professional, the Valencia native won 15 titles. Ferrero’s last trophy came in 2011 on Stuttgart’s outdoor clay courts, but since then he has struggled and slid to 111th in the rankings.

“It was a complicated decision to leave a world you have lived in intensely since six or seven years old,” the 32-year-old Spaniard said on Wednesday. “But I have had a tough year and you start to notice that you don’t have the same ambition and motivation.” 

Ferrero helped Spain win the first two of its five Davis Cups in 2000 and 2004.

“The 2000 Davis Cup is something unforgettable for all Spaniards. I was very young and little by little I realised how important it was both for me and the country,” Ferrero said.

"Winning a Grand Slam and becoming the world No. 1 are both unforgettable peaks of my career.” 

Ferrero followed Carlos Moya (1999) and preceded Rafael Nadal (2008) as Spain’s three male players to have reached the world’s top spot.

“What I will miss most is the competition, we (players) live for the competition. It will be difficult to fill the void in this new life I am going to begin now, but I have plenty of things to do,” Ferrero said, adding he will dedicate his time to his tennis academy and hotel.

Spain Davis Cup captain Alex Corretja, Ferrero’s teammate in 2000, said his retirement meant “the loss of a reference for a generation of players.” 

The Valencia Open will be from Oct. 20-28.

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