Fyrstenberg Announces Retirement
After 17 years on the ATP World Tour, doubles specialist Mariusz Fyrstenberg has decided to call it a career.
At the ATP Challenger Tour’s Pekao Szczecin Open in Poland, Fyrstenberg announced on Sunday that he would be retiring from professional tennis, having completed a successful doubles career, most notably competing beside fellow Pole Marcin Matkowski in the pairing best known as “Polish Power”.
“This is a special place for me, because in Szczecin I started my doubles career,” said Fyrstenberg. “I won here three times and always love the atmosphere at this tournament and the people, who always support me. I stopped playing tennis half a year ago, but I decided to announce it in Szczecin. I’ve never thought about any other place to finish my career.”
After officially turning pro in 2001, the left-handed Fyrstenberg developed a greater penchant for doubles over singles, a discipline in which he only peaked at No. 317 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Deciding to focus on doubles exclusively in 2007, the Pole, who hails from Warsaw, reached a career-high of No. 6 in August of 2012 and won 18 ATP World Tour doubles titles in a career spanning two decades.
Career title triumphs for the 37-year-old Pole include a maiden ATP Challenger doubles title on home soil in Szczecin in 2001, followed by a first ATP World Tour doubles title – also at home – in Sopot. (2003), and Masters 1000 crowns in Madrid (2008, 2012), all with Matkowski.
"Looking into the past, I can say that victories in Szczecin and in Sopot gave me the biggest happiness, although the biggest success was reaching the final in 2011,” reflected Fyrstenberg.
Alongside Matkowski, Fyrstenberg reached the US Open final in 2011, falling just short to Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner. As a result, team “Polish Power” qualified for their fifth and final appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals in London, where they made it all the way to the championship match before bowing out to Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor.
Representing Poland in Davis Cup, Fyrstenberg produced some of his best results, posting a record of 29 wins and 14 losses across 28 tie nominations. With a 22-7 record overall in doubles, he and Matkowski (19-6 together) combined for the best doubles team in Poland’s Davis Cup history.
The Pole played his last match this past February, reaching the semifinals of the Garanti Koza Sofia Open with partner Martin Klizan.
What’s next for Fyrstenberg? His wife Marta Fyrstenberg had an idea. “I’m glad that Mariusz said 'goodbye' to professional tennis,” she said. “Now he will be often at home!”