Former number 1 announces retirement after almost 25 years on the Tour


by   |  VIEW 7210
Former number 1 announces retirement after almost 25 years on the Tour

The 41-year-old Belarusian Max Mirnyi has announced his retirement from the professional tennis at the end of 2018 season, wrapping up his everlasting career that started in the early 90s! Ranked among the greatest doubles players of all time, Mirnyi has won 52 ATP titles from 98 finals, lifting 10 Grand Slam titles overall and finishing the season inside the Top 100 on the ATP doubles list for 20 consecutive years! Minsk native is one of the rare players who has managed to crack the Top 20 in both singles and doubles, achieving his best ranking in singles in 2003 and having a chance to play against Pete Sampras, Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin, Gustavo Kuerten, Patrick Rafter, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal.

Nonetheless, he has found his lucky charm in doubles, becoming world number 1 in 2003 and playing in almost 100 finals between 1997-2018. Despite the fact he has been one of the oldest players on the Tour in the Top 100, Max managed to play in four ATP finals in 2018, lifting trophies in New York and Houston to stay inside the Top 60.

Despite that, he has decided to end his professional tennis journey, almost 30 years after he went to Nick Bollettieri's IMG Academy where he made his first significant steps and shaped up his game for what was about to happen in the next 25 years.

Max had a chance to play in the final of all four Majors, winning the US Open together with Lleyton Hewitt and Mahesh Bhupathi before conquering four Roland Garros crowns with Jonas Bjorkman and Daniel Nestor. Paired with Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Andrea Hlavackova, Max claimed four mixed doubles Grand Slam titles and he and Azarenka also won the gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012 where Max had a chance to carry the flag of Belarus on the opening ceremony.

Between 2000-2011, Mirnyi lifted 16 Masters 1000 titles and two ATP Finals crowns together with Bjorkman and Nestor. Davis Cup Commitment Award winner, Max has been one of the most dedicated players in the history of this competition, playing for Belarus for 25 consecutive years between 1994-2018 and scoring 61 wins in 57 ties! A father of four, Max completed his International Law degree at the Belarus State University 10 years ago and he has won numerous awards in his country, being the UNICEF Good Will Ambassador for Belarus since 2016.

In a warm and eloquent message, Max has acknowledged every person that helped him to create such a successful tennis journey, including 100 different doubles partners he had a chance to play along with.