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Former Top 50 Player Grega Zemlja Retires From Tennis

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by Prakash

Tennis - Slovenia's Grega Zemlja has retired, having played his final professional match in Portoroz earlier this week. Zemlja reached the second round of ATP Challenger event in Portoroz, going down to fifth seeded Filip Krajinovic, of Serbia, in straight sets.

Zemlja peaked at No. 43 in the singles rankings, the highest achieved by a Slovenian tennis player. He was the first Slovenian player to win an ATP Challenger event in Cancun in 2008, the first to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2009 and the first to reach an ATP Final in Vienna in 2013.

The 30-year-old is down to No. 294 in the world currently. Zemlja said, "Tennis has always been part of my life and it always will be. However, the feeling on the court is not the same anymore. When you do not have that much of energy left in your tank, you struggle in tournaments and practices.

When you do not enjoy and can not be satisfied with what you are doing, then it is tough to continue this way. I will probably be involved in some projects helping young Slovenian tennis players to improve. I think the young generation is not that promising as it should be.

The transition from junior’s level to the senior’s tour is actually a big problem and I think that I could be a big help in this area.” To commemorate his retirement, Zemlja played an exhibition match along with Aljaz Bedene, Blaz Kavcic and Kaja Juvan, the current European Women's Junior Champion.

His best performances at the Grand Slams included reaching the third round at the US Open in 2012 and Wimbledon in 2013. In 2012, he reached the third round of the US Open, the first Slovenian male player ever to reach that stage in a Grand Slam tournament.

He is also the first Slovenian ATP player who in 2013 reached third round at Wimbledon. He reached his highest ATP ranking of World No. 43 in singles in May 2013, becoming the first Slovene ATP player to reach the top 50. Žemlja also became the first Slovene player earning over 1 million US dollars in prize money, and he is the highest-paid Slovene player in history.

He represents his country as a member of Slovenia Davis Cup team. Also Read - Sloane Stephens - Rising to the Top .

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