Continuing our look back at the 2023 ATP Tour season, we look back at some of the big names who have called time on their careers this year. Americans John Isner and Jack Sock headline Part 2 of this story, with Spaniards Feliciano López and Pablo Andújar among those featured in yesterday’s Part 1.
Isner was the standard-bearer for American men’s tennis for much of his career. He was the American No. 1 in the annual Pepperstone ATP Rankings for eight of the nine years from 2012-2020 and finished in the top 20 throughout the 2010s.
The historical leader of aces of the ATP Tour, had 48 aces in his last singles match at the US Open. The former world number 8 closed his career with 16 individual titles and 489 match wins.
“I think I’ve done it in spades. I never imagined I’d be so successful for so long,” said Isner, who turned pro in 2007 after winning the NCAA team title with the University of Georgia. “Of course, there are many games that I would like to have been able to recover, but I mentally prepared myself as best as I could for 17 years. I don’t regret many things, that’s for sure.” Read Tribute.
A former Top 10 player in both singles and doubles, Sock reached a career-high No. 8 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 2017, the year he finished as the American No. 1. The following season, he rose to world number 2 in doubles.
The American won four Grand Slam doubles titles (including one in mixed), and also won two Olympic medals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games: gold medal in mixed doubles with Bethanie Mattek-Sands and bronze in men’s doubles with Steve Johnson. The biggest of his four career singles crowns came at the 2017 Rolex Paris Masters, a win that secured him a spot at that season’s Nitto ATP Finals.
“To the 8-year-old who immediately fell in love with the sport of tennis. I hope I made you proud,” Sock wrote in an Instagram post announcing his retirement. “It’s been 14 years of memories that I will never forget.”
Photography: Peter Staples/ATP Tour
Brazilian Bellucci ended his career this year in his homeland, Rio de Janeiro. The 35-year-old won four singles titles on the ATP Tour and exactly 200 matches in his career, which began when he turned professional in 2005.
“I feel happy and also a little sad,” the former world No. 21 said of his retirement. “Tennis has been in my life for many years. It is not easy to stop playing. But I have enjoyed it a lot, and my body is now noticing the years and the sacrifices I have made. It is time to do something else, to experience new things” .
In a conversation with ATPTour.com, Bellucci recalled how he persevered after a knee injury nearly sidelined him much earlier in his career. Read Tribute.
The 36-year-old Frenchman opened his shortened farewell season with a victory at the Australian Open, before ending his career with a loss to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon.
Chardy won his only tour title in 2009 in Stuttgart and reached No. 25 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings four years later in 2013. He also cracked the Top 25 in doubles and won seven doubles titles on the ATP Tour.
“It’s something special,” Chardy said of his career after being honored at the Nitto ATP Finals. “You work hard all your life. When you are young, your dream is to become a tennis player, and from the moment you start playing on the ATP Tour, time flies very quickly.”
“I have really enjoyed my trip and I don’t regret anything. I just finished and I’m already training, I’m still on the Tour. That means I really love tennis.”
Chardy, second from right, was honored alongside other recently retired stars at the 2023 Nitto ATP Finals. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Huey, a Filipino born in Washington DC, received an emotional farewell at the ATP 500 in his hometown. The eight-time tour doubles champion won his first ATP Tour title at the DC event in 2012.
“When I was a kid, I was like, ‘I’d love to be good enough to play in this tournament sometime,'” he reflected. “I ended up playing it a couple of times and winning it once. It was a dream come true… It was amazing, I played for 14 or 15 years, so I had a great time.”
Huey captured three trophies in 2015 and reached a career-high ranking of No. 18 in the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings the following season.
An eight-time singles champion on the ATP Challenger Tour, Klahn played his last Challenger tournament in his home state of California. Some of the American’s best professional memories include playing on Wimbledon’s Center Court in 2018 and claiming a five-set victory to secure his first Grand Slam main draw victory at the 2012 US Open, in front of an electric crowd at home.
“It never felt like a job to have to go hit tennis balls and try to improve,” the former world number 63 told ATPTour.com. “I’ve been very lucky for 11 years to play professionally. Not many people get to take their childhood passion and turn it into something professional. I’m lucky to be able to say I did.”
Marach, who competed six times at the Nitto ATP Finals, was part of the prestigious group of recently retired players honored at the 2023 season-ending event in Turin. The Austrian won 23 tour titles and reached No. 2 in the world in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
“For me it’s very special,” he said of the recognition at the Nitto ATP Finals. “I have great emotions around this tournament… For me it has always been next to the Grand Slams as the biggest tournament in the world, I love coming here. They treat the players in a special way, and the best come together in a final clash of the year. I have always enjoyed the tournament and I am happy to have my retirement here.”
Read all the stories in the Best of 2023 review