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Best of 2016: A look at tennis stars who bow out this year

Durban: Apart from Maria Sharapova testing positive for banned substance to match-fixing taking center stage during Australian Open, the year 2016 also became witnessed to many tennis stars announcing to hung their rackets. 

Here, we take a look at some of the players who retired from professional tennis this year: 

Ana Ivanovic

The former world no. 1 and French Open champion bid her goodbye to tennis at the age of 29. The Serbian made the announcement via Facebook on the night of December 29.

Ivanovic, who had a disappointing fifth-round exit from last August’s US Open, said that repeated injury had meant she was unable to recreate the high standards of her younger years. 

Although she insisted at the time she would be returning to the court, Ivanovic has now decided to bring her career to a close.

Lleyton Hewitt

The youngest male ever to be ranked no. 1 in the world in singles, aged 20, Lleyton Hewitt concluded his professional tennis career at Wimbledon 2016 in the Gentlemen’s doubles competition, where he played alongside countryman Jordan Thompson and lost to eighth seeds Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock in the second round.

Hewitt finished his professional tennis career ‌in January this year after 20 straight Australian Open appearances. His last professional singles match was against David Ferrer in the second round of the 2016 Australian Open on Jan 21, 2016.

In March Hewitt came out of retirement to replace the injured Nick Kyrgios in the first round Davis Cup against the USA at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. In June again, Hewitt made a wildcard into the Wimbledon doubles competition, playing alongside young compatriot Jordan Thompson. 

Eric Butorac 

After playing his last match at the US Open, American Eric Butorac farewell to the doubles circuit. 

The 35-year-old father of two, who became USTA Director of Professional Tennis Operations and Player Relations in early October, is an 18-time doubles champion on the ATP World Tour. He has won at least one title in each of the past 10 seasons, including five with Jean-Julien Rojer and three each with Klaasen, Lipsky and Jamie Murray. 

Butorac most recently lifted the trophy at the Millennium Estoril Open with Lipsky in April, his third title at the ATP World Tour 250 event.

Michael Berrer

Another former ATP Player Council member bade farewell in 2016, as Michael Berrer played his last match at the inaugural European Open in Antwerp, before officially retiring in December. 

Nearly two years after initially deciding to announce his retirement, the German pressed pause on his departure following a successful 2015 campaign that saw him notch the biggest win of his career over World No. 3 Rafael Nadal in Doha. It was his first victory over a Top 5 opponent in 14 tries.

A genuine and charismatic personality, Berrer reached his career-high singles ranking of world No. 42 in May 2010.

Tamarine Tanasugarn

Thailand’s most successful professional tennis player Tamarine Tanasugarn announced her retirement from the game after more than 22 years on the circuit.

The 39-year-old, who was world No 19 in May 2002, decided to call it a day after her mother Sunetra passed away on Saturday at the age of 66.

Source: Zee News