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Injury Forces Ancic To Call Time On Tennis Career

Mario Ancic

Mario Ancic© Getty ImagesMario Ancic reached a career-high World No. 7.

Former World No. 7 Mario Ancic formally announced his retirement from professional tennis on Wednesday at a press conference in his hometown of Split, Croatia.

“This is a difficult, emotional day for me,” said the 26-year-old Ancic, who had struggled with illness and injury the past few years. “However, I don’t want it to be a sad day and I would like to still be remembered for everything I did in tennis and for the glory I brought to both Split and Croatia.

“Everything has an end. For me it was beautiful while it lasted and that is why this is a happy day.”

Speaking to The Times earlier in the week, Ancic confessed, “It would not be me out there anymore. I knew I would never be 100 per cent fit again, and there was no real answer to it. It would have required a pretty serious operation even for me to have a chance to recover and I would never have been guaranteed a full motion again…

“I have had to be fair with myself. My mind was fine but my body couldn’t compete and the way tennis is today, well I have to be sensible about it. I tried everything I knew to come back, but I couldn’t do it.”

Far from being frustrated by his extended periods out of the game in recent years, Ancic instead turned his attention to furthering his education. In April 2008 he earned a law degree from the University of Split – his thesis entitled "ATP Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" describing the ATP's legal foundation and organization – and he confirmed Wednesday that he would continue practising law.

Ancic peaked at No. 7 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings in July 2006 and enjoyed some of his greatest successes at Wimbledon, where he broke through in 2002 with a first-round win over Roger Federer and reached the semi-finals in 2004 (l. to Roddick). He also won three ATP World Tour titles in his career and clinched the 2005 Davis Cup title for Croatia against Slovakia with victory over Michal Mertinak in the deciding fifth rubber.

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