Machado Calls Time On Tennis Career
The Portuguese player won eight ATP Challenger Tour titles
After 14 years on tour, one of the best players in the history of Portuguese tennis is hanging up his racquets.
Rui Machado decided to turn down the chance to study Economics at a Catalan university and turned pro in 2002. After nearly a decade of toiling, he peaked at No. 59 in the Emirates ATP Rankings in October 2011. After struggling with injuries lately, the 32-year-old baseliner decided it was time to call it a career.
“What made me decide to retire was having many injuries in recent months that did not let me practise and compete the way I’m used to,” said Machado. “I really felt that my body was asking for some rest.”
After suffering wrist and knee injuries that largely kept him off the tour in 2006 and 2007, Machado was able to return and begin producing the best results of his career. He became a dominant figure in clay-court events on the ATP Challenger Tour, winning all eight of his titles on the surface from 2009-2011. Fittingly, his best result on the ATP World Tour came at home, when he reached the quarter-finals of the 250 Series event in Estoril in May 2010.
“I’m very proud of many things in my career,” said Machado. “I represented my country in Davis Cup for 13 years in 28 ties. I achieved Top 60 in the rankings, which at that moment made me the best player in Portugal’s history. I overcame difficult times with injuries and came back stronger. And in the Challengers, winning my first title in [Meknes] Morocco and the biggest title of my career in [the $125,000 event in Szczecin] in Poland are very special moments for me.”
Although Machado doesn’t have definite plans for what he will do next, he sees himself continuing to remain involved in the sport he loves.
“I will probably be linked to tennis in some way and try to help improve the quality of Portuguese tennis. I see myself as a coach, but also working in the sports industry in general,” he said. “I like challenges and that’s what I’m looking for in my future.”