On the latest ATP rankings list, there are 10 players born in 1981 and they have been led by world number 2 Roger Federer. Some of those are already retired, like Marco Chiudinelli, while Julien Benneteau played her last tournament at the US Open, ready to end his career after the Davis Cup before becoming the French Fed Cup captain in 2019.
Another veteran from this generation has announced his retirement, the 37-year-old Jurgen Melzer who will call it a career at the ATP 500 event at home in Vienna in the last week of October. Jurgen has not been ranked inside the Top 100 since May 2015 and he was forced to undergo a shoulder injury in November, returning in July next year to play eight tournaments to finish just outside the Top 300.
Melzer had a chance to play against Roger Federer at the Australian Open in 2017 and he won Budapest and Wroclaw Challengers in February, returning into the Top 200 but not being able to continue in the same style in the rest of the season, missing the second part of the season after Ilkley Challenger in June.
Jurgen was able to play just three Challengers this season and one Davis Cup rubber against Russia and he has decided to end his career in front of the home fans after 20 years on the Tour. Between 2003-2013, Melzer had played in 13 ATP finals and he won five ATP titles, including two in Vienna in 2009 and 2010.
His career-best ranking came in April 2011, just before turning 30, and he scored 59 Grand Slam and 57 Masters 1000 wins. Jurgen was the semi-finalist at Roland Garros in 2010 when he overpowered Novak Djokovic in the quarters after dropping the opening two sets, reaching the last 16 in the following three Majors as well.
His best Masters 1000 results came in 2004 and 2010 when he lost in the quarters five times, advancing into the last four at Monte Carlo in 2011 when he defeated Roger Federer before losing to David Ferrer. Jurgen will compete in Vienna with a wild card together with Grigor Dimitrov, Dominic Thiem, Kevin Anderson, John Isner, Kei Nishikori and maybe he will have a chance to end his career against his young compatriot Dominic Thiem on the Centre Court.