Juan Carlos Ferrero played the last singles match of his career Tuesday, losing to friend Nicolas Almagro at the Valencia Open with the scoreline 7-5, 6-3.
Ferrero, best known for his lone Grand Slam title at the 2003 French Open, decided to end his 14-year career at a tournament close to where he resides.
In a way, it was a full circle for Ferrero, ending where his career took off, winning his first ATP title in 1999 as a teenager, back when the tournament was on clay.
He explained, after his match, that he felt it was time to hang up his tennis racquet (via ATP World Tour):
"I’ve always been a very competitive person and a winner, and I felt like I didn’t have it within me anymore," said Ferrero. "It takes a lot to keep up with what the level is. I could probably still be around for some time, but because I’ve always been a perfectionist, I want to stop now."
Ferrero emerged onto the tennis scene 10 years ago, reaching his first French Open final and Tennis Masters Cup final in Shanghai. 2003 was his career-defining year, winning Roland Garros and becoming world No. 1 after his runner-up finish at the U.S. Open.
His illness and Australian Open defeat in 2004 allowed Roger Federer to take the world. No. 1 ranking from Andy Roddick, and Ferrero became a consistent top-25 player from 2005-2007 and in 2009. Ferrero was nicknamed “mosquito” throughout his career due to his build and speed on the court.
Ferrero has 15 ATP singles titles to his name, the last one coming at Stuttgart in 2011.
For more information about Ferrero’s career, click here to visit his ATP retirement tribute website.