Tennis - Former Wimbledon semi-finalist Xavier Malisse has ended his professional tennis career with a loss in the first round of the ATP Challenger event in Mons, Belgium on Wednesday. Malisse lost 3-6, 6-7 to Ukraine's Sergei Stakhovsky.
The Belgian gave a tearful retirement speech on court after the match. Malisse had announced a few weeks ago that he would retire at the end of the Australian Open in January 2014 but changed his mind and decided to end his career in front of his home fans instead.
Malisse peaked at no. 19 in the world in 2002, the same year he achieved his best result - a semi-final appearance at Wimbledon. He won 3 ATP singles titles and also 9 doubles titles and reached the top 10 in the world doubles rankings.
The 33 year old is currently ranked no.122 in the world with a 13-19 record for the season. He was also once dating former women's world no. 1 Jennifer Capriati. Malisse was known for his lethal groundstrokes but his lack of discipline and below-standard match temperament hindered his progress into the higher echelons of the game.