Former world number 39 retires at the age of 33



by   |  VIEW 9471

Former world number 39 retires at the age of 33

The upcoming Australian Open will take place near Marinko Matosevic's home but the 33-year-old will come to Melbourne Park only as a spectator, deciding to end his career after not being able to play since February! Born in Jajce, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marinko and his family had moved to Australia when he was a child and he started to work with Jay Salter at the Universal Tennis Academy in Melbourne when he was 13.

Marinko had to pass a long road from being a regular journeyman on the Tour towards the best-ranked Australian player in 2013, finishing the career with 63 ATP wins, four Challenger and five Futures titles, achieving everything with his hard work and dedication.

Marinko barely had a chance to compete on the ITF Junior Tour and he had to forge his career from the very bottom of the standings, needing a couple of years on the Futures Tour just to reach the Top 500 after his maiden pro title in 2008 at the age of 22.

That gave him a huge momentum, winning three titles that year to secure the place in the Top 300 and cracking the Top 200 after his first good results on the Challenger Tour in the following year, having a chance to play in the qualifying round at all four Majors and gain the experience.

A steady progress had been seen in 2010 as well, notching his first Masters 1000 win and achieving more success in Challengers to close the season in the Top 140. The start of 2012 season proved to be the turning point in Marinko's career, claiming Caloundra title in Caloundra and advancing into his first ATP final in Delray Beach as a qualifier, losing to Kevin Anderson in straight sets.

Out of sudden, Matosevic was ready to compete against the rivals from the Top 50, winning 17 ATP matches and entering the Top 50 for the first time. The Aussie managed to stay in the elite group in 2013 as well, becoming the best-ranked Australian player in what had been the darkest moments for one of the most successful tennis nations! With no intention of leaving the Top 100 anytime soon, Marinko grabbed 22 ATP wins in 2014 but some dark clouds have gathered over his career in the following year, struggling to find the form and missing more than two months due to an injury, never winning an ATP match again! Marinko has been struggling to regain his form and improve the position in the ranking, playing his last match at the end of February in the qualifying round of the Indian Wells Challenger and deciding to call it a career 14 years after entering the ATP list for the first time.

Over the course of his career, Marinko had a chance to play against Andy Roddick, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Martin del Potro, Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Tommy Haas, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, scoring six Top 20 wins in total.

"I don’t know what to say really. I guess with mixed emotions I announce that I will no longer play the sport I love, I actually stopped in February but I thought I would make it official on the day I got my first ever ATP point 14 years ago.

It’s has been an amazing journey and I wish it didn’t have to end but it feels like the right decision. It was always my dream to be a tennis player since I picked up a racket and fell in love with the sport. It’s been a long journey with many ups and downs.

Tennis is a very lonely sport at times, physically very demanding and brutal mentally because losses and failures are all down to you. With perseverance, sacrifice, dedication and hard work I was able to achieve some of my dreams.

Tennis has given me so much and taught me about myself and life. It’s given me the opportunity to travel the world for the last 15 years doing what I love. It has enabled me to live out some amazing tennis and life experiences that I will never forget.

It has enabled me to meet so many incredible people along the way that made this journey so memorable and unforgettable. I experienced and learned so many things because of tennis and for that I am eternally grateful. Tennis also took some things away.

It took me away from family, friends and loved ones. It took away some freedoms and perhaps a simpler life. I would love to say I don’t have any regrets but unfortunately I do. I have tennis regrets and personal regrets.

Regrets are lessons I have learned from and they have made me a better human being. I want to thank all the people that helped me achieve some of my dreams and that taught me about life, my family, friends, coaches, physical trainers, physios, psychologists and everybody who has helped and supported me.

I want to thank all my fellow warriors who I shared the court with. I want to thank the tournaments I played and the people who made those events possible, I want to thank everybody involved in our great sport. Lastly, I want to thank the people that watch tennis or have something to do with tennis without you none of this would have been possible. It’s been the time of my life."