‘I Enjoyed My Journey’: Recently Retired Stars Honoured At Nitto ATP Finals
All good things must come to an end.
A host of singles and doubles stars announced the end of their professional playing careers in 2023. On Friday at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, the ATP Tour took the time to honour some of those who played their final match this season.
ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi welcomed Pablo Andujar, Thomaz Bellucci, Jeremy Chardy, Peter Gojowczyk, Treat Huey, Malek Jaziri and Oliver Marach with a speech in the player lounge at the prestigious season finale. The seven players also later participated in an on-court ceremony at the Pala Alpitour.
“It’s something special,” said Chardy, who reached a career-high of No. 25 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. “You work hard your whole life. When you were young, your dream was to become a tennis player, and from the moment you start to play on the ATP Tour, the time flies so fast. It went really quick, a lot of hard work, a lot of good memories on the court, off the court with other players, all the people from the ATP.
“I enjoyed my journey so much and I have no regrets. I just finished and I’m already coaching, I’m still on Tour. It means I really love tennis!”
Another former Top 25 player, Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci, added: “I feel great. I ended my career last year, but I played my last tournament this year in Rio, in my country. I’m very happy of what I achieved in my career and I’m very proud of it. I just want to thank all my fans and my family, and I’m very happy to have [this celebration]. Something more in tennis, but in a different way.”
Peter Gojowczyk was the most recently retired of the group in Turin. The German played his final match as a professional in Metz just two weeks ago.
“It’s been an honour to be here in Turin and to celebrate my career here,” said Gojowczyk. “I have good memories on Tour and I was thinking about when to retire. I had a good opportunity to come here to Turin… I’m happy with my career, I have good memories and to celebrate here in Turin is awesome.”
“It’s amazing,” concurred Jaziri, who hit a career high of No. 42, the highest Pepperstone ATP Ranking by a Tunisian. “You have a flashback over many years. It’s the culmination of lots of years of work, dedication and it’s like a family. The players and all the people who work in the ATP as well.
“This is the end of a career as a tennis player and hopefelly we have a good career and success in life after tennis as well. Tennis gave me a lot of opportunities and I’m very glad to be part of the ATP family.”
Doubles specialists were represented by Oliver Marach and Treat Huey in Turin. Marach was a six-time competitor at the Nitto ATP Finals.. That personal history made Friday’s ceremony particularly touching for the Austrian.
“For me it’s very special,” he said. “I have big emotions around this tournament. This is my first time in Turin, but I played four times in London. For me it has always been next to the Grand Slams as the biggest tournament in the world, I love to come here. They treat the players specially, and the best players get together in a final clash of the year. I always enjoyed the tournament and I’m happy to have my retirement here.”
The eight-time tour-level titlist Huey, another former competitor at the season finale, was also happy to be back.
“It’s absolutely incredible,” said the Filipino. “It’s a dream come true being back here. It was my dream all those years to make it here once, and I was able to in 2016, so to be invited here for a retirement ceremony with some of the other players I’ve looked up to and who became my colleagues over the years, it’s truly special.”