Max Mirnyi announced his retirement from professional tennis last year, and in an interview with tennis.com, he admitted he was proud of his long and successful career, especially in doubles. Speaking about his longevity, Mirnyi said: 'I could not have thought it would last this long for me.
I had my first big results in 1997 and was listed as a professional on the ATP website in 1994 or 1995, but I felt from the time I was a 6-year-old that I was a professional already. I was never taking anything for granted in my career and I would feel like ‘Oh, wow, I have survived another year in a very competitive sport.’ And I was seeing all these superstars of past generations right in front of my face in the locker rooms, looking at the Becker’s and the Edberg’s, Agassi, Sampras, Chang and Martin.
And then I was trying to learn about the young guys like Guga Kuerten and Roddick, Hewitt and Safin. I saw them all excel and advance to No. 1 in the world in my time. Then when Roger (Federer), Rafa (Nadal), (Novak) Djokovic and (Andy) Murray came along, I totally thought I was done.
But before I knew it I was around them for ten years. It was incredible and fascinating for me. Now I am kind of rolling back the memories and enjoying every bit of it.' Radek Stepanek praised the Big Four era made up Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
The Czech admitted that most of the Next Generation players are not ready to breakthrough yet. 'I can see that younger players are impatient', Stepanek said. 'They play two tournaments in an amazing way, but then they do not care a lot, they are mentally tired. I do not blame them at all. I am not sure there will be such strong and consistent players.'