Kevin Anderson, a former Wimbledon and US Open finalist, announced his retirement on Tuesday at the age of 35, bringing an end to a promising but injury-plagued career.
The 6-foot-8 South African, who towered over his opponents, reached a career high ranking of fifth in the world in 2018 before dropping out of the top 100 due to a series of knee, shoulder, and ankle problems.
“I’ve experienced so many different challenges and emotions, this sport can be exhilarating and at the same time lonely. I’ve had ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.
“My journey helped me become the man who I am today. Today I finally arrived at the difficult decision to retire from professional tennis.
“As a kid, my dad used to tell me that success isn’t defined by results, but by the effort and sacrifice you make along the way in becoming the best you can be. I gave it my best,” he said in a statement on Twitter.
Anderson became a professional in 2007 after completing his academic education in the United States. He came close to winning a Grand Slam twice, losing in the finals of the US Open and Wimbledon against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, respectively, in 2017 and 2018.
He achieved his career-high Association of Tennis Professionals ranking of world No. 5 on 16 July 2018. He was the first South African to be ranked in the top 5 since Kevin Curren was No. 5 on 23 September 1985.
On February 6, 2011, Anderson defeated Somdev Devvarman in his hometown of Johannesburg to capture the South African Open title for his first ATP Tour-level title. His second ATP title came at the 2012 Delray Beach Open when he defeated Marinko Matosevic. Anderson won his third championship in 2015 at the Winston-Salem Open with a victory over Pierre-Hugues Herbert. He ended 2017 winning the exhibition World Tennis Championship. His fourth title came in February 2018 at the New York Open.
Anderson reached his maiden Grand Slam final at the 2017 US Open, where he lost to Rafael Nadal. In the 2018 Wimbledon semifinals, Anderson reached his second major final by defeating American John Isner in the second-longest match in the history of major tournaments. The match, which lasted 6 hours and 36 minutes, was only beaten in length by the 2010 match between Isner and France’s Nicolas Mahut. He then lost to Novak Djokovic in the final in straight sets. On May 3, 2022, Anderson announced his retirement at age 35.
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